“Of all the things which nourish the imagination, humour is one of the most needful, and it is dangerous to limit or destroy it.” – John Millington Synge.
Public conversation around what we need more or less of in schools is so predictable. Whether we’re on the sides of coding, decoding and teaching emotional intelligence or whether we think we need to get ‘back to basics’ in schools – it’s always about content.
Let me tell you right now – it doesn’t matter what we teach! That is, unless we can get the attention of our learners.
That attention garnering endeavour is, of course, about great pedagogies deployed consistently and creatively in the classroom. But it’s also about creating the affects/feelings in our classrooms that enhance rather than diminish the current learning potential.
We all know that a student who is scared learns poorly – so what would the flip of that be? To feel safe, would surely only be going half way. What if our kids were smiling, giggling or even belly-laughing while they learned?
Think about your favourite joke or tall tale. Is it not carved word-for-word in your neo-cortex due to the intense positive emotional affect you experienced when you first heard it?
The big question is then “Could we actually enhance the retainment of content through making it’s acquisition utterly hilarious?”
Today’s Teachers are told to be so much these days. You need to be Teachers, friends, parents, psychologists, counsellors, coaches and first aid attendees. I contend that you should just be a Teacher in the next week or so … just be a more funnier one!