My teaching career isn’t your average mix of education experiences. I’ve taught everyone from first graders to first-year law professionals to sales reps on the brink of their biggest quarter in every form of language and logic that appears on any major standardized test. I’ve taught bilingual education, special needs children, and emotionally distressed kids. I’ve taught college students public speaking, and graded finals for professors.

And in each of those groups there is something universal I have learned as their teacher:

Students like it when you’re funny. 

Now, I’m not saying every teacher has to be George Carlin out there. Sometimes, you’re not funny. You can use another angle or tell a different story. You can engage your class with empathy or passion or any numbers of “wow” factors to keep them interested.

But there is absolutely nothing like being funny to keep a class highly engaged in what you’re doing.

Want to know why? There are several, simple, good reasons for it:

  • It creates similarity between you and the other person because you both are smiling.
  • It releases positive endorphins in your audience, making them want to talk to you.
  • It gives you a chance to work out your face.
  • It gives you a chance to juggle donuts in front of a room full of people.
  • And because you’re freaking smiling! Smiling makes you happy. You don’t even need a reason!

So the next time you have to teach your kid multiplication tables, keep the tickle monster act nearby.

And throw in a few fart jokes. Kids love ‘em.

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