Rifts and Giggles
Its a good thing I don't mind people laughing at me.
I am a horrible clutz and ding-bat, and I am always doing stupid things, which makes my students (and anyone else who may be around) giggle.
Last week someone was knocking on the door, wanting in my class. So I went to push the door open, forgetting that it was closed (duh right!) and I just ran into it, complete with smacking my head against it.
Now, most of the things I do are purely accidental, although I am a ham when it comes to education.
I know that sometimes it is the only laugh my students will get that day. I can also tell if they are having a really bad day because they don't laugh, and I can help them then.
I cannot tell a joke to save my life, but I can tell stories, true stories about what an idiot I am and get them to laugh that way.
I feel weird talking about me, because in general I am an intensely private person, but I have absolutely no trouble telling people how stupid I act.
I think their laughter heals me too somehow, makes me feel like I am useful, like it is worth me being around.
It is the best cure for drama and for ending disputes (at work at least). If you can get kids who are unwilling to participate or talk to laugh, and then to tell their own story, they open up, let the divide between us and them disappear.
It also allows people to do stupid things and not feel so embarrassed, because they know that someone else has done something stupid (publicly) too.