Normally my blog focuses on a weakness that I have or problems that I see in the world. To be honest it gets tiring focusing on the negative all the time. It’s a battle that I need to step away from time to time. Today I want to focus on a strength that I have and that I imagine most of you have. That strength is the ability to make people laugh.
I remember the first time I recognized that my words and actions could make people laugh. We were eating dinner as a family when I told my parents a funny anecdote that happened at school. The sound of their laughter gave me a feeling that can only be described as euphoria. Looking back that was the moment that I understood why comedians chased this for a living.
I look to make people laugh wherever I go. There are some go-to jokes that are always sure to work. I will share them with you in the hopes that you too can bring happiness to those around you. My first couple of guaranteed laughs occur at the grocery store. When you get lunch meat tell the person behind the counter that you want a pound of meat or cheese. If it is over .01 or more tell them you want the piece removed; pause for a second before you start laughing. Believe it or not people are serious about this and the person behind the deli counter will chuckle guaranteed. My second laugh is when you are being rung up at the register announce loudly that the person behind you said they will pay for your groceries. This brings a smile to everyone’s face.
My favorite go-to humor with little kids is to shake their hand and not let go. I pretend to walk away all the while grasping their hand tightly and shaking it. I loudly state that I need to go and to stop fooling around. This makes even the most stoic child giggle. Another classic that most of you probably know is the high five where you yell in pain when they slap your hand too hard. For some reason, children love this and try to hit your hand harder laughing gleefully as they attempt to inflict pain upon you.
If you want one that crosses over for any age go with the fake fart. One of my favorite stories was the first time I met Judy Lobianco. Warning DO NOT DO THIS TO YOUR BOSS! We were at a large physed convention and I saw her eating breakfast. I stealthily snuck up behind her and placed my blue tooth speaker behind her chair. The next step is where the genius occurred. I connected my phone to the speaker and went to a youtube playlist of fart sounds. It took Judy a couple of seconds to figure out. Luckily Jlo thought it was hilarious!! Fake farts work for people of all ages. They are the cheese of jokes.
Now to the part where I tie all this into education. Your teaching area needs a space for people to feel comfortable. Laughter is one way to achieve this. It breaks the ice, lowers stress levels, helps bond groups together, and creates a space where people want to be. Laughter transcends race, gender, language, and culture. I can write about laughter forever but to be honest, it’s not funny to read about it.
I will leave you with one last video. This was my introduction at the Colonial Tech Conference. I used physical humor to elicit laughter and bring people to my session. I want you to watch @techedupteacher (Chris Aviles) in the beginning. He either gets the joke or is one unempathetic dude!!
How do you use laughter in your class?