The other day, my teaching partner, Paula, spoke to me about an article that she read sharing that adults don’t laugh enough. I don’t know if this is the article that she found, but it definitely shares the same information. As we chatted about the article, one thing became clear: the two of us definitely laugh way more than the average adult, and so much of this laughter is in the classroom. Maybe that’s what makes work/school so enjoyable. If you’re spending your days chuckling, wouldn’t you want to keep coming back to the place that makes you so happy?!
This got me thinking more about why we laugh so much. Is it because we’re surrounded by four- and five-year-olds, who find everything amusing? In a school, if you want to visit the happiest place on earth, find a Kindergarten class. Everything is exciting!
- Listen to this child sing and talk excitedly about the baby worm she found. Joyful! Precious. And it makes me giggle just a little again, as I hear her laughter over her incredibly lucky find.
- As adults, mud is synonymous with a mess (and likely hours of laundry), but as a kid, mud is all about happy times. Chasing each other with the mud. Exploring in the mud. Even painting with the mud. Nothing is better than this kind of sensory play, and just watching it in action, makes me chuckle along with the kids.
Playing in the mud puddle. This sensory play often leads to oral language opportunities. pic.twitter.com/noKZwFaE8r
— Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca) February 26, 2018
- You just never know what’s going to be said or done, and it’s the unexpected that can sometimes cause the biggest laughs. It’s like finding the biggest broken branch ever, and hearing your teaching partner say, “I wonder if it can fit through the door.” 🙂 Then it’s actually working with ten kids to carry that branch back to the school, and figuring out with them how to get it through the gate before trying to get it through the door. But of course, you also fall in love with the branch so it has to make it in. After that, there’s also the process of getting this branch over to the floor ready for painting, and then somehow managing to flip it (all on your own), so that the children can access the other side. It’s the sign the children make to remind you that the “big stick” is there — as if someone could miss it — and the many giggles that accompany every step of the process. Then it’s the act of getting that branch back out to the forest again, and the amazing crowd waiting to see you do it. It’s the numerous reminders of “the gate, the gate, the gate,” and realizing that the children are going anywhere but there. Who knew that one broken branch could lead to so much laughter?!
- It’s in seeing life and learning from a child’s perspective. Kids see the world differently, and some of the happiest moments are around these differences. Only a child could see a stick as a person, and two sticks, as “kissing people.” And imagine when children then see the perfect birthday present as these kissing people. For what really is better than that?! Then think about the child’s comment around having “scissor hands” for the people. Even more than the comment, I love how my teaching partner never once said, “No,” but instead discussed the potential problems with the child. It’s each of these little moments that brought me some joy, and it’s experiencing every little part of this, that brought on lots of laughter.
Please don’t get me wrong: I couldn’t be happier about the progress that our students have made this year. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it. But I’m equally as happy over the tremendous joy that I’ve experienced this year. I love that every day is full of the kind of laughter that makes my sides hurt and my eyes run with happy tears. I love that we can share this kind of laughter with kids, with parents, and with each other. I’m thrilled that I get in way more than four laughs a day, and that these laughs are genuine, are long, and are full of immense joy. If your place of work can bring on this much laughter, then life doesn’t get much better than that! How often do you laugh? What can help you experience more joy in the workplace and at home? Here’s to a week full of many giggles! Surround yourself with people and experiences, which make this possible.