Laughing and Learning (and Teaching)

In my classes, we tend to laugh a lot. I especially enjoy nice, good laughs. Sometimes my students and I get to laughing so hard that I cannot talk or think for a minute. Laughing is one of countless human emotions, and it has countless powers–one being learning.

  1. Laughing makes learning safe(r).
  2. Laughing reduces stress. 
  3. Laughing emphasizes learning and creativity, not education
  4. Laughing encourages spontaneity.
  5. Laughing requires the professor to abandon some authority. 
  6. Laughing helps create long-term memories.  

My students in Mexican American History I this semester are an especially great group. We laugh and laugh sometimes. And, the especially unique part is that it is “on topic” laughing. A few of the students have exceptional gifts when it comes to framing comments and questions in creative ways such that we all laugh and learn together and do so better than if we didn’t have such creativity. In this case, all of the students are making my job easier when it comes to making History fun and exciting and relevant.  

How do you encourage laughter in the classroom?