Laughter is the best medicine. These past few weeks have been exceptionally rough for me as a new teacher. Quarter two wrapped up, and with that comes whiny kids who are frustrated about their grades, upset parents who have not checked their child’s grades, last minute grading, commenting on report cards, etc. etc. Even typing that all out made me cringe inside! These are busy times. And busy times call desperately for laughter. I love having opportunities to joke with my kiddos, especially if they can see me laugh at myself. Life is too short to be taken too seriously.
We are currently working on science research papers; I’ve been focusing on the research process, product, and oral presentation, while the science teacher whom I work with has been focusing on the content. While demonstrating how to give a proper oral presentation, I found myself thinking about pizza. I don’t know about any of you, but when I’m exhausted I get STARVING.
Here I am in the middle of my mock oral presentation, and all of a sudden I realize I’ve forgotten to keep going with my speech and instead just blurt out the word ‘pizza.’ Now, to help paint the picture, I went into a daze of sorts while slowly mumbling the word in an enchanted voice. My students could not contain themselves and instantly burst out laughing. Though my initial reaction was absolute mortification, I succumbed to the fits of giggling that overcame myself as well. I love that I can laugh with my students, even if we are laughing at me. Actually, especially because we were laughing at me.
When I was in college training to be a teacher, I remember being so focused on learning the content and strategies to best work with my students that I forgot I was allowed to be human with them. We make mistakes in my class, we laugh, we write, read, forgive, research, and most importantly experience day-to-day life with one another. From what I can see, the students genuinely like being in my class and feel safe in there (despite my zany personality). If I’m not teaching students to learn to embrace their mistakes and shortcomings, am I truly serving them the way I should be?
My hope for all of my readers it that we can unite as teachers, students, parents, friends, family members, and human beings to learn to love our flaws and to not take ourselves too seriously. I’m a much better teacher and healthier person when I’m joyfully invested in each moment of my day.