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Joy and Laughter, in YOUR Classroom!

Believe it or not (its up to you) but joy and laughter can exist in a classroom where actual learning happens.  How do I know?  Most days this is what my classroom looked like (I hope).

How can you do this?  Be YOU!  Yes learning needs to happen.  Yes there is some sort of high stakes test the students have to perform well on.  Yes teaching students is one of the most important things that any society can support.

But…students have a lifetime to hang out with grumpy suits and dour faced office workers.  Don’t make them suffer through this yet.

Let them enjoy your class.  Make it fun.  Do something engaging.  Crack a joke and laugh at yourself.  Show a funny clip to start the day.  Sometimes funny clips can spark interesting conversation…I like this one.  Then I like to talk about how failure is an important part of the learning process.  I also laugh from my gut every time I watch it.

Let the students demonstrate their learning through comedy, a funny skit or something similar.

When students make an emotional connection (humor or other, which do you want to be remembered for?) they usually remember what was going on.  I’m not trying to say that class should be all unicorns and rainbows.  There are times, as a teacher, when you have to pull your students along.  Sell them a commodity they are not interested in buying.  Grumble at them when they don’t do what they are capable of….

Remember this – students need to grow and thrive.  They need to feel support as they are moving through your class.  They need encouragement when they are faltering.  They need cheers when they accomplish something epic.

A thriving culture flourishes in a classroom where students know they are supported.  Where the teacher genuinely smiles and is friendly, but also has high expectations.  Where learning is allowed to be a little messy and students have the freedom to be themselves.

There is so much joy in the education process – seeing a student really “get it” for the first time is priceless.

What kind of classroom would you want to learn in?

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About Scott

My name is Scott. After 18.5 years as a high school math teacher in public education I have made the move to become a full time PhD student. This decisions was difficult, but has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. Teaching in high school was an incredible experience for me, so leaving an environment that I loved for the unknown was a challenge. As I high school teacher, I taught almost every math course that could be offered. I was able to earn National Board Certification in Young Adult Math. I was honored as my building Teacher of the Year, no mean feat at Edmond Memorial High School!! My career changed as I became fascinated with educational technology and all of the things that it can do for teachers. I flipped my class. I used iPads and blogging (in high school math!!). I started using gamification and mastery learning. I changed my practice. I chose to go back to school to learn as much as I could. To bring that knowledge from academia and research to the teacher on the front line. I have had the opportunity to present at several conferences and share what I have learned with others. Its through these connections that we can be the best teachers we can for our students. They deserve it and we sell ourselves short when we don't give it. I love talking with teachers about change. About incorporating educational technology. About the power that they have to change lives. My blog space is me, it shares my passions and frustrations, my joys and my learnings. If you are interested in what I am studying, please visit my graduate school pages. If you are interested in the flipped classroom, I have some links to get your started. I would love to meet you! Do not hesitate to reach out! I would enjoy the opportunity to work with your staff or trade ideas with your teachers - let me know! Have a great day! #BeBrilliant

Discussion

One thought on “Joy and Laughter, in YOUR Classroom!

  1. The word used to be ‘Get Serious’ – buckle down, a brain is a terrible thing to waste, if it’s not tough it’s not learning… Why??? If, as I and many believe, we should find our passion in what we’re doing, then there should be some joy in those efforts.

    All educators have heard the following: “Dr. Bennett, I studied so hard for this exam – but you’d never know it!” Yes, there was probably much wrong with their approach to effective, likely little if any self-assessment of that learning. These can be addressed with assistance of the instructor or advisor… But the belief in the value, the passion for the learning must come from within for the student; having said that, with that passion, the joy facilitated by the instructor amplifies it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by jcbjr9455 | August 16, 2015, 4:02 pm

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