Using Humour in the Classroom Cover

Using Humour in the Classroom

A hands-on, how-to guide for effective and enjoyable teaching practice

Take a positive stance with Using Humour in the Classroom. This hands-on, how-to guide promotes the use of humour to build rapport, encourage student achievement, and help teachers remain enthused in the classroom. It addresses both the advantages and pitfalls associated with humour, and has ideas that will sustain, support and surprise teachers of the modern classroom.

Ages: 9-17 | Pages: 56 | Code: 0251 | ISBN: 9781877390432

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Picture of John Hellner

John Hellner

John Hellner, a self-confessed "humorologist", has taught or worked as a teacher-educator in New Zealand secondary schools from 1975 to 2009. A former head of history at Auckland Grammar and deputy principal at Orewa College, he delivered the University of Waikato Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) at Tauranga. He is currently working at Overseas Family School in Singapore. John has published articles on education, and he believes humour is vital in a teacher-student relationship, which enhances learning.


1. How can humour help teaching and learning?5
A crucial element of a teacher's interpersonal skills5
Assistance to learning6
Great physical spin-offs6
Promotion of personal development and emotional security7
Promotion of group solidarity7
2. Avoiding the social tripwires associated with classroom humour8
Inappropriate humour8
How much humour?8
Will the teacher become a class joke?9
Humour on the rampage9
Playing it safe9
3. Foundations of humour10
Humour and attitude10
Developing your sense of humour11
Your students' developing sense of humour13
4. Three forms of humour to bring into the classroom14
Spontaneous humour14
Contrived humour17
Language-based humour21
5. Getting it right: the anatomy of a classroom joke30
When is a joke valuable in the classroom?30
How do you prepare for delivering a joke successfully?31
How do you deliver a joke successfully?32
How do you deal with "the bomb"?34
6. Making humour out of real life35
Using the absurdity of reality35
Code mixing36
Exaggeration and understatement37
7. Key uses of humour in the classroom38
Overcoming classroom upsets38
Building team spirit39
Fostering students' self-esteem41
Achieving effective classroom management43
Accessing humour: electronic sources and resources52