1. *Reflection: Are your verbal interactions with students framed in the positive or negative? How do you speak so they will listen? Using positive directions and feedback helps build mutual respect and supports better student behavior. Are you modeling positive communications? Promoting a positive classroom culture, and long-term behavior changes?
2. *Reflection: Are your students engaged? When students are truly engaged, learning is enjoyable and much more effective. Real engagement requires some level of active participation, beyond passive listening to the teacher lecture or talk. How are your students actively participating in their learning? Keep in mind that research shows student attention spans are within the range of 10 – 18 minutes, or less. The good news is that classroom activities and humor can re-engage students by simply grabbing a disinterested student’s attention. And using humor in the classroom positively affects content retention! ~ “One of the greatest sins in teaching is to be boring”
*Caution Tip: Be aware of the difference, and very thin line, between humor / wit and sarcasm. Sarcasm is not appropriate in elementary grades, often does not go over well with middle grades, and should be very carefully considered with high school grades. There are many negative aspects of sarcasm, it is often disrespectful and demeaning, and that makes it risky to use with students.
*In the immortal lyrics from Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’: “No dark sarcasm in the classroom.”