Laughter in the classroom


Picture this, it is 8.10 am on Friday morning and my classroom is filling with the sound of girls laughing, laughing from the classroom next door.

Not that surprising, except that what I am listening to is an extra maths class, a totally optional class offered to students who need extra time to understand some of the trickier year 6 mathematical concepts. Mr A has them in stitches as he and they grapple with today’s topic. As I listen I am not really sure what set them off, what I do know though, is that those students will start their regular day with a smile on their faces and a spring in their step. What a great lesson and one they will remember with positivity. Listening to them reminded me that ‘Finding Humour’ is one of the sixteen Habits of Mind.

Do you find humour in the daily life of your classroom? Are you able to let your students laugh with you and at you? Can student’s be a bit silly in your classroom, or are you so wound up in keeping them under control that there is no place for lame jokes and silliness? When I tweeted out this question ‘Do you find humour in your classroom? Can your students laugh at you and with you? Musing on ‘finding humour’ Habit of Minds‘. Several teachers quickly responded affirming that they too aim to include laughter in their classrooms.

 @lobroo I would never let a day go by without few good laughs with class. We learn 2 laugh at life & ourselves.I have fun & so do they
Absolutely! Humor = sanity for kids and teachers!
my students laugh at me a lot whilst rolling their eyes – does that count? Too many puns.
oh yeah everyday – we have an unwritten rule of laughter everyday – mostly at me being ridiculous.

We are always laughing in year 6rc, my students laugh at my terrible spelling and at my messy whiteboard writing. They laugh when I muddle up their names and when I am stumped by their Maths Olympiad questions. I acknowledge my imperfections, I show them I am a learner too. I allow and encourage the lame jokes. I add a few of my own and I don’t mind if I appear silly. You see I find laughter a vital part of my teaching toolkit. A relationship builder and a necessary part of my day. Do you?

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  1. Denise lombardo

    Laughing together and being able to laugh whilst being laughed at… All makes you more human. My yr 11s started a “fail”blog to document the many silly things I said and did (eg throwing my hands into the ceiling fan whilst gesturing about the heavens above, or tripping over my own feet almost daily)…. It became a running joke, where whenever I did something silly, I could just refer to their list, we’d all laugh and then move on. That class was brilliant, like a family, and would love to think that having a good laugh while learning was certainly a part of it. Thanks for the post!

  2. Anthony

    Good on your Henrietta. As a parent of one of your students I know the authenticity you write with in your posts comes through in your teaching of her … there will be tears at the end of the year – probably from T as well!

    Our kids deserve real, authentic people to share their learning journey with.


  3. Humor is one of the reasons I love to teach 7th grade! I crack myself up sometimes when they don’t get my humor, but their humor is even funnier!

  4. Russell O

    The great thing is that as a teacher I can just run the same old jokes year after year to a new audience! They love it! Often the kids are looking forward to it because they have been warned by elder siblings about Mr O’s corny sense of humour! Always defuses tensions and helps create constructive relationships. I always keep things straight up and down, no sarcasm, no double entendres, no phobisms, racisms, sexisms, and wherever possible make the humour relevant to the current learning goals!

  5. I so agree with all these comments, both my own boys have had a teacher who loves corny jokes, they come home and tell me he was on form today, repeating the best. He is certainly creating a raport with them, that they will remember for years to come.