Today in 8th grade science, we discussed proper nose-picking etiquette, because boogers are not snack food, nor are they to be smeared nor flicked. Go where you can be alone, remove them and place them in a tissue, and dispose of them. Then wash your hands!
We’re studying the respiratory and excretory systems. If you want to know about our discussion on
peeing urinating, you’ll have to ask me in person. Not everyone has the whacked-out sense of humor of a junior high teacher.
But junior high students do, and it’s okay to join in with them sometimes. They can be witty, wicked, inappropriate, or just downright silly. As an adult, you know the limits of appropriateness and can certainly head off anything offensive. But before that point, there’s a whole lot of opportunity to have fun.
Yesterday in class I mentioned that I’d bought some cheap chocolate eggs on clearance. “Oo,” said a student. “Are they Cattleberries?” That became a running joke all day! This is the same student who thought your prostate gland was part of your digestive system. I said if that were the case, half the world’s population was in big trouble!
I use humor to soften sticky situations at school. For example, if two students begin roughhousing in the hallway, I’ll stop them and ask, “What are you thinking?” As they look at me with guilt on their faces, I’ll continue, “There’s a camera out here! If you want to do that kind of stuff, go into a classroom where there won’t be video evidence!” They’ll laugh with me -but they’ll get the point, and they’ll stop.
My son Jon can bring me to tears with his “Crazy Driver” impersonation. He’s also the one who started laughing at me one day when I was reprimanding him for something. He must’ve been about 10, and he was sitting on the floor. As I began ranting, he just looked up at me and saw something amusing in my face, and he began to laugh so hard he fell over on the floor. What did I do? Sputtered to a surprised stop – and laughed along with him.
If you can diffuse a situation with a laugh, more power to you. If you can distract a gloomy teen with a little teasing, so much the better. If you can laugh so hard with your kids that tears come to your eyes, then that is a very good day.
And it’s one you’ll all remember.