Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Laughing Teacher: Laughter + Affirmation FUEL Growth

APRIL? Happy April Fools Day!
Spring, is really truly and officially in the air!

I was so delighted with Mar's recent article here on the value of laughter and how laughing and singing and music and happy brains are all connected.... that I thought I would piggy-back right on top of her reflections. If you somehow missed her article, by all means get over there, because she offers you a free download and we ALL know how teachers LUV free stuff!  

In the spirit of mirth, let's explore further!
Can I get a giggle?

This being the beginning of April, by the scientific chart above, 
my guess is that many of you are  somewhere in the purple phase. 
Yes. Indeedie-do! 

There is stress and then there is teacher-stress. 
Insert giggle here:________ (it IS good for you, like flossing and broccoli!)

Time for a little introspection now. 
What type of teacher are you? 
Check the staff development chart below to determine your type.

According to my own research? 
The world has all too many boring, strict, bad and lazy folks.
And yes. Some of those four types are in education.  

If you're reading here you're already in the best-of-the-best category. 
My effort today is to help you along your "fun" journey and to provide you with some research and muscle power to advocate for the HUMOR, JOY and LAUGHTER that we all 'know' are needed when working with children {while living on Planet Earth!} 

Next are a couple of TED talks devoted to the advocating of PLAY 
on behalf of children! 
According to these authorities, 
play and laughter are officially diminishing. 
{You probably don't need an 'authority' to be in agreement.}
Don't take my word for it. 
Listen to these brilliant wonders and their thoughts. 

Now we've determined that if you're anything but a FUN teacher, 
you seriously need to turn yourself around. 


You've come to just the right spot. 
I have a clinic for just that sort of make-over!

This sign goes with the corollary t-shirt + bumper sticker: 


What I do know to be true, comes from another bumper sticker 
in my personal collection.
If you want to be here, in this career, 
a season from now, a year from now, a decade from now,
AND the decade after that? 
You simply MUST learn how to laugh!   

We must learn how to laugh and you must engineer laughter,
teaching it to others in generous dollops of chuckling + gales of guffaws.
We as educators (and parents and grandparents and neighbors) 
must teach others how to laugh.
We must teach others how to 'see' the humorous.

We must have tools at our disposal:
We must have puppets, props and costumes, 
picnic baskets of the unexpected. 
We must have tricks and novelty up our sleeve.
We must have poems in our pockets and 
knock-knock jokes at the ready.
We must be willing to see our own foibles.
We must be willing to share those foibles as well!

Laughter is the very best insulation between 
 the stress and realities of our lives
and our dreams and potential. 

There are times when absolutely NOTHING is funny!

As a two-time cancer survivor, I know about things not being funny. 
And yet, we are directed to LAUGH! 
Laughter is good for you! 
What if you are in a 'season' where nothing is funny? 

Then my friends? 
You must:

Think of opening a laughter credit card! 
Some day this will be funny.... 
I'll put it on credit today! 

Go ahead and laugh NOW!

I was introduced to LAUGHTER YOGA by my sweet cancer-surviving sister, Linda, who has led numerous laughter-workshops around the globe. 
It turns our that our bodies and minds can receive all of the benefits of laughing,
 even when there is nothing that is actually funny! 
Linda is a kind, compassionate and generous individual. Which came first? 
The laughter or the generosity?
It is possible to be compassionately engaged in laughter from a wheel chair.
Linda is a living example of a Stage IV Meta-vivor filled with mirth,
so much laughter that it spills over onto all in the vicinity -- 

These next five images are from the website: 

Stunning in their graphic glory, 
but all the more 'wondermous' for their knowledge!
Brilliant Karen "TEACHES" laughter as a career! 

I've done some clicking around on the web and found LOTS of additional resources for you! 

***As often happens.... it seems I'm not ever done with an article. There is so much to be said on this topic, but time has elapsed for now. I hope to expand with further thoughts, but this is what I have with the time available. 

I pulled up this FREEBIE pdf for our End of Year #TeacherFriends Twitter Chat last night and feel like you could appreciate having this ahead of time for your planning purposes. 

Go over to our Early Education Emporium to download your copy. Scroll down. It is RIGHT in the MIDDLE of my resources! Download. Print. Personalize. VOILA! 

While you're planning for your GRAND FINALE and all of your End-of-Year Performances, I want to remind you that I have two songs that are especially appropriate at this time of year! 

Whether you're looking for a great self-esteem song, or something more on the patriotic line, each of my songs is available in digital format. Each zipped file includes two Mp3s: one each of a sung version and the second is for the instrumental! There are pdfs included as well. Your students will enjoy learning the sign language to support their singing! 

Each file is available at our Early Education Emporium and at Teachers Pay Teachers, too! 

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