Try not to get too serious

Yes I know that education is a serious business. Here we are in the summer break and I am reading Tweets about colleagues going to conferences here there and everywhere. They are discussing the somber business of educating our children and indeed all our futures.

Now I am not getting at the subject matter of the conferences or the passion and earnestness of the delegates involved. I am 100% behind the serious business of the Teacher’s March about Education Reform in the U.S.A. and wish them all well.

But I believe that we must not forget something that is very very important in education…. humour. The ability to lighten things when it all gets to be a bit serious is something that would be valuable to any teacher.

I was recalling something that some of my pupils said to me a few years ago when they were reflecting on their time in my class… they said that I was funny and that lessons “were a laugh” (actually “were a larf” in the local accent as I have always taught in Essex, U.K.!)

This is not to say that I spent all my time telling them jokes and doing impressions ( though I did do a few), no, I just lightened up the day by trying to remember that it is not a matter of life and death. So Harry didn’t get fractions today well I can go home and commit ritual suicide or punish myself by watching that Swedish film that I recorded and that is supposed to be good for me.

Our children enjoy a relaxed, happy atmosphere at school, they like humour and they benefit from knowing that you can take and share a joke with them.

So, in the midst of all the heavy stuff about Web 2.0, innovation, standardisation, creativity, STEM, robotics, pedagogy, the digital divide and all the other things that we are all talking about in Reno, Nevada,  Montreal and Glasgow let us remember to take time to share a joke, laugh at ourselves a bit and remember that if we do this as often as possible in our classrooms our students will appreciate it.

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