Total Pageviews

One of the Top 100 Education Blogs

View All 100 Blogs

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Importance of Laughter in School

We all know that laughter is important to our mental health and general well being. Here are some quotes on the benefits of laughter:

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
--Victor Borge

If you're too busy to laugh, you are too busy.

We don't laugh because we're happy – we're happy because we laugh.
--William James

With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.
--Abraham Lincoln

Schools have become a source of increasing stress both on staff and pupils with the constant focus from the media, the use of education as spin from politicians and governments seeking votes. the strive for results and targets etc. The list is endless.

The results of this stress are felt by everyone involved in education from the office staff, through to teachers, pupils, senior management and governing bodies. All of this makes laughter important for without it, we would, as one of the quotes says above, not be happy.

Being around children can provide no end of laughter, they give us those precious teacher moments that result in tears of laughter and they laugh with each other. laughter is infectious. What we have to do too though is provide opportunities for laughter. We need to laugh with them, give them opportunities to laugh at us. This can often be provided in the unlikeliest of places. 

I was in an assembly in school today which was delivered by the clergy from our local church. They are wonderful people who have a real sense of fun. They manage to turn potentially boring Tuesday morning assemblies into a look forward to day when the whole school end up smiling and laughing. 

Today's assembly was about Zacchaeus the tax collector so had the potential to be boring but not with our clergy! It began as it always does with some acting. There are three people who come to deliver the assembly, they consist of one man who is very thin and tall, two women, one of whom is of average size with one is as small as the man is tall. Two of them are comedy actors with the third being the perfect straight actor. They always also involve at least a couple of children in their comedy sketch which makes for even more fun. 

The sketch today involved a painted tree and a set of step ladders with the smallest actor on the steps pretending to be Zacchaeus, the tallest actor and three children being the 'crowd' blocking Zachaeus' view and the straight actor trying to keep the chaos together whilst playing Jesus. It was hilarious! I looked around the hall and everyone from the youngest F2 to the oldest year 6 and staff were laughing. 

After the'acting' comes the singing. The song today was 'Does The Lord make you sad?' Which as usual was accompanied by a series of actions, led by the clergy, with absolutely everyone joining in. 

These songs with actions are 'famous.' Having appeared in a leavers assembly a few years ago with a few of the year 6s impersonating the clergy whilst singing one of their favourite songs from the assemblies complete with actions. It brought the house down! 

What is special about these assemblies is that the'message' always gets across whilst the whole school have fun. Tuesdays assembly is the day we come out if afterwards with smiles on our faces having shared laughter and experienced joy.