Humor is an effective tool for engaging students and enhancing their learning and retention. The appropriate use of humor can decrease student anxiety (especially before a test), defuse tense situations, and maintain student focus and interest.
Here are some tips to follow when using humor.
- Acknowledge and laugh at your own mistakes.
- Know which of your students can and cannot accept good-natured ribbing.
- Use humorous anecdotes from your own life.
- Avoid inappropriate humor such as sarcastic comments or anything that is off color.
- Limit your use of humor to appropriate times. Your class should not turn into a comedy hour.
- Where possible, tie your use of humor to the content you are teaching.