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Humor in the Classroom

Mary Pettibone Poole's observation that "He who laughs, lasts" is probably nowhere more true than in teaching. A moderate touch of humor can nurture an inviting class climate. Bob Hope had suggested that humor serves as a welcome mat between speakers and their audience. It is a powerful tool that can break the ice and get the listener on your side. Humor recaptures students' attention and anchors their memory, improving achievement. One classic study found students to be more creative after listening to a humorous recording. Humor can diffuse tense situations, combat resistance, and reduce stress in the classroom. It provides comic relief from the serious, sometimes tedious, business of learning. Humor tends to make any experience more fun and brings a group closer together.