I find that in teaching each day I have a smiley face moment where humour takes over the lesson. Today I told my Year 10 class they could all be Randy..we are studying The Outsiders. I guess I learnt to phrase myself more clearly in class.
When I was working as a counselor at an all-boys wilderness camp (for at risk youth) my first year in North Carolina - nearly every day gave me a culture-shock lesson. One I remember was a day that I was in one of the tents with four boys - 3 black kids and 1 white kid. There was a huge bug of some sort up in the corner of the tent (not a coleman tent, but a semi-permanent cabin-type structure). I took off my shoe to reach up and flick it down and out the door and the three black kids at the same time ducked and covered their heads. I stopped short and said, "What? Are you afraid of this bug? I'm not going to flick it at you, I'm flicking it out the door."
They all immediately started laughing when they realized they were all ducking for the same reason - it wasn't the bug. They thought I was going to throw my shoe at them and covered their heads instinctively.
I later learned (and had confirmed from many more students thereafter) that most of the black kids' moms threw shoes when they were really angry.
Obviously after that moment it became a lame joke: "Don't make me throw my shoe..." And of coures it was even funnier to them because I'm a white girl from the north.
Over the years, I've enjoyed lots and lots of laughter in my classroom--thankfully, or I might have gone crazy!
My rhetoric (speech) class was always good for a laugh, as it was a little less formal and structured. One day, I asked them to be somebody else and to teach us something that person would teach.
Phillip, the class cut-up and mimic, got up there, grabbed hold of the podium and started preaching like no one has preached before. Now, I do teach in a Christian school, so this would not have been totally outside the realm of possibility in a classroom; but this was so loud and passionate that had a crowd outside my door.
He nailed it--the inflection, the rhythm, the sermon subject--everything was spot on as a caricature of a preacher who "preaches it." Those of us inside the room were laughing so hard at his antics that some literally fell out of their chairs. It was a two-tissue moment for me.
Here's the great ending to this story--Phillip just graduated from college last month. He's going to be an English major. Ain't life grand.
Your post reminds me of a humorous moment that could have been turned around into something far more serious. Reading from a story one day, I proceeded to read about a "fire truck." Unfortunately, I rearranged the first syllables of the two words and it came out "tired -uck." My high school class hooted. Embarrassed badly, I tried again--and out came the same mispronounced words! With thoughts of being fired dancing through my head, I cleared my throat and slowly read "fire truck" correctly. I received applause from the class--and not one, single complaint from parents or administration. This occurred many years ago, and I imagine if this happened today, the complaints by students and their parents and the stance taken by the average administrator would make this one highly serious offense.
I think one of the best and funniest lessons I ever "taught" and I use that word loosely because I was involved and threw the idea out but the students were the ones that really ran with it, was the idea of making a movie about Lord of the Flies but changing one aspect of it.
For example, what if the kids on the island were all girls? What if they spoke different languages? The videos these kids made were absolutely hilarious, groups of catty girls talking behind each others backs and being nasty to each other instead of hunting and killing, or the groups of kids speaking Chinese and Spanish and English with subtitles were absolutely hilarious.
I'm a special ed teacher, and I had a group in resource who were not doing well with listening/following directions--one boy in particular, who thought he already knew everything. So I taught a lesson on listening and following directions. The kids were in pairs, with an obstacle between them that they couldn't see through. They had matching sets of different colored and shaped blocks. One kid arranged them in a certain way, and then had to direct the other how to build it. The listener was not allowed to ask questions. The results were highly amusing, and the know-it-all had to admit he had not done a good job in either the directing or listening role.
My funniest memory from teaching is from a lesson on propaganda techniques. We had spent a week studying different forms of propaganda and identifying techniques such as transfer and lesser of two evils in speeches, videos, etc. At the end of the week, we were playing a review game in which I gave the students an example of propaganda and they had to identify which technique the example relied upon. One of my students buzzed in with all confidence and shouted, "Glittering Genitals!" He meant "Glittering Generalities," but didn't even notice his own mistake. All of us could not help but laugh at the horrifying image his mistake created!
I love to give my students an opportunity to laugh at me it helps build a sense of community in the classroom. Recently while using the interactive Smart Board for an activity, we were having issues with the orientation. When the students came up to the board, they would tap their response, but a gentle tap wouldn’t do it. I explained to the students that they had to “Tap it hard.” I knew where the teenage mind would go with that one, and sure enough it did. Innocently I played it off, and my students enjoyed both the activity and me naivete.
I will never forget the day that I was passing by Mrs. Jordan's class in my school and she was teaching Huck Finn. Of course, it had been a long day, and when I passed the door, she had told them to turn to some page in their _uck Finn books. The funniest part was when one of the kiddos said, "How did she know what we called it?!?"
One of my favourite lessons is when I get my students to practise the past tense by pretending that a murder has been committed in the classroom by drawing a chalk bodyline on the floor. I appoint some of the class as detectives and then others have to come up with an alibi to protect them from being found out. Hilarious!
A few months ago in science the topic went fron orgenells too genes to genetals and people that were clueless on a few things had some pretty inappropriate and most of the class couldn't stop laughing it was crazy even the teacher couldn't stop laughing.
then there was tis one time in social studies. the teacher is great. the topic went from china to greece to gladiators to stadiums to machine guns to fat people to bike riding to base ball to kite flying to baseball games to fruit bats to hot dogs to fried flying baseball bats in a hotdog bunn