As many of you know, I’m a big fan of humor. I just love it. No matter what kind of mood you’re in, humor makes it better. Sad? Mad? Glad? Doesn’t matter. This will make it better:
And gosh, there are just so many things out there to laugh about!
To a good teacher, you really only need to adhere to a few simple rules. First, always be prepared. And by prepared, I mean have a lesson plan in mind at least by the time you walk in the building in the morning. No need to have everything lined up ducks-in-a-row style. Let’s be real here! The second rule is to be nice. Smile at the kiddos. Make them feel loved. You like it, so it just makes sense that they will, too. The third rule: Teach your ass off. Walk into that classroom every day with the conviction that your subject is of vital importance to your kiddos. Sometimes I even like to imagine that unless I teach them well, a trapdoor will open under their desk as they fail the end-of-course exam. (Although, to be fair, I imagine this a lot.)
To be a great teacher, though, takes humor. You can be a prepared, nice, teach-so-much-that-your-ass-has-actually-fallen-off kind of teacher. But, if you don’t add humor to the mix, the kiddos are just not going to groove with you. Crack a joke every so often. The best source of comedy comes from your own faults. Point out the fact that you spelled sentence wrong (did that) or that you accidentally drew a penis on the board (did that) or that you didn’t wear a belt and feel really self-conscious about it (did that and it’s one of my biggest fears in life). Let humor happen! Laughter is what connects us. Laughter is the most basic manifestation of human emotion (besides crying, which I avoid in the class at all costs. There is no crying in science).
What I’m really trying to say here is this: Let humor connect you to your students. Laugh with them. Make them laugh. Open up to them so they can make you laugh every now and then. Or, if you’re like me, every single day. Multiple times. Too often, actually, now that I think about it. But, I can’t imagine the alternative: Never laughing. I’d take the trap door any day!