Where did all the fun go?

Paul Boyd

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Now that we’ve been at school again for a fair few months, people are back to full speed and the steady cycle of work. 

Teacher: Where's your text book?

Student: At home.

Teacher: What's it doing there?

Student: Having a better day than I am…

The numerous demands and deadlines, the unexpected changes and events that impact on a ‘typical’ day can often mean that we are permanently functioning in business mode; getting that which needs to be done completed, and until it is, don’t take your foot off the pedal!

If we’re not careful, our workload can have the unintended side effect of making us very serious in the classroom; we are so preoccupied with all that we need to do that it becomes a heavy cloud hanging over our lessons.

teacher finger point

What should be an inspiring or motivating experience for children, maybe introducing a new topic or tapping into their creativity, can become functional or clinical if the teacher is distracted by external pressures not directly related to that moment of teaching.

It’s important then to remember to find ways to enjoy your work and lighten your mood, even in the midst of a busy day.

"Finding reasons to laugh and ways to create happiness contribute to a smoother day for everyone and can actually make the doing of more difficult tasks easier."

According to studies at Harvard School of Public Health, happier employees are generally healthier and negative emotions harm the body, causing lost working days due to staff illnesses and absences. Sharing a joke with a colleague or a fun anecdote for our classes could actually make you healthier as well as bringing a smile to people’s faces!

A 2015 study from the University of Warwick also showed that happy employees are more productive; in some cases by as much as 20%. So it stands to reason that we want our classrooms to be happy places for our children to encourage their best work.

teacher sat with class

Fun is also known to promote greater creativity and better collaboration as people feel freer and more comfortable expressing themselves and their ideas in such environments.

Teaching Standard One reminds us that we have a duty to ‘demonstrate consistently the positive attitudes, values and behaviour which are expected of pupils’.

Surely a part of this then is modelling how to be happy and joyful in our work?


About our Community Expert

Paul Boyd

Community Expert

Paul is an actor and English teacher from Northern Ireland. Alongside his acting career working in theatre, film and television across the UK, he also teaches in primary and secondary schools throughout London.

Paul provides performance coaching to both individual clients and businesses.

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