When it comes to maintaining classroom discipline, humour and a friendly approach work better than authoritarian teaching.
The report into what makes an excellent teacher was based on information about more than 3,000 three to 16 year-olds in England.
Its authors, academics from the Institute of Education, identified a range of factors underlying great teaching. Some of these are familiar, including preparation, collaborative learning, sharing objectives with pupils and linking homework to what they are learning. Effective teachers adopt a conversational style and teacher-pupil relationships are characterised by warmth and respect.
However, when it comes to behaviour management in primary classrooms, the academics suggest that the use of humour is crucial. Even in ‘excellent’ schools where children are less likely to be disruptive the report states “…where teachers do need to correct behaviour, they use humour or a quiet reminder.”
And who knows – a sense of humour can even result in a brand new career. The Mail reports that teacher Emma Mitchell, who used to teach English, appeared at this year’s Edinburgh Festival as a naked stand-up comedian under the name Miss Glory Pearl. “Stand up is similar to teaching in a classroom in that you have to stand in front of an audience and command their attention,” she said. ”I’ve seen some of my former pupils at my previous shows. They think it’s great.”
Do you use humour in your lessons and if so what’s the response from your pupils?