Every teacher knows that stare. The blank, “I have no idea/don’t care what you are saying dead stare”. Sometimes it is because it is the last period of the day. It can also be a rather humdrum topic that puts the entire class in the doldrums of boredom. We stare at them and ponder how we can snap them out of it to get them engaged again.
I’ve always found that humor is an outstanding way to perk up a class. It can be as simple as the creative individual who thought this one up. Kids forget that we know what is going on in the world. They view us as disconnected. This disconnection doesn’t help; us reach them as “people”. One little joke that lets them know we are still connected and have a sense of humor can change everything. This one tells the students two things: I have a sense of humor and I keep up with your language (texting, that is).
Adding humor and creating connections are ways to really make students feel a connection to you as a teacher. You are no longer the long-winded science teacher – you are a person who wants them to learn and enjoy it! This doesn’t mean you have to be the wise-cracking teacher who isn’t serious. It means you get to pop a good one in there once in a while to break up the monotony. Sometimes, it just happens when we least expect it. Just like a teachable moment – make a humorous moment whenever you can.
We don’t remember the teachers who droned on day in and day out. We remember the ones that made us smaile or even laugh. The next time you’re in the middle of limiting reagents, the light reactions or mitosis – think of a way to add some humor. Your students will appreciate it and you’ll have a lot more of their attention!