I’m tired and a little punch drunk. I always get a little loopy when I’m tired. Summer days are long past: sleeping late and weekends without grading. Our spouses are tired of our griping and our children need our attention. When I’m like this, I need a secret weapon, my best resource.
As teachers, we have a plethora of resources at our fingertips. Teachers Pay Teachers offers lessons, ideas, and craftivities galore. Our instructional coaches provide coaching and curriculum guides from the district level. Administrators guide us in our understanding of the instructional rubric and the latest research.
But none of these top our greatest resource. What tops the chart to ensure we are the best teachers we can be for our students, our communities, and ourselves? The greatest resource teachers will ever have is a sense of humor!
Call me crazy. Go ahead, really, but my sense of humor keeps me sane in tough times, like having indoor recess for a week due to bad weather or when I have a cold during an evaluation the day after Halloween. My colleagues’ practical jokes, wit, and laughter bring brightness to any day.
I’m not downplaying our other resources but to keep our sanity and the balance necessary to be the best teacher we can be, we must have a sense of a humor. Laughing at ourselves and keeping our day-to-day chores light and fun ensures we all maintain the levity to avoid burnout.
Teaching is one of the few professions where we work everyday with some of the goofiest, silliest, and imaginative human beings around: our children. If they can’t let you be silly and quirky, who will?
Classroom management doesn’t have to fly out the window when it comes to being our true, light-hearted selves. Children can laugh and then go immediately back to learning a lesson. But even if you don’t feel the freedom to be funny with your students, do it with your colleagues.
On my rough days when I’m tired and taking everything so seriously, I stop to look at my kids making faces or being dorky on the playground. It’s not all life or death in our profession. We have evaluations, meetings, and rigorous lessons, but forsaking humor is a mistake. You can always ask for help from funny mentors.
Who was it that said “smile and the world smiles with you, laugh and the world laughs with you”? If it wasn’t a teacher, it should have been. Being teacher means being caring, being joyful, AND laughing.