Teaching Moments: Contagious Laughter

Most teachers have a soft spot for a particular type of student.

Some teachers like the cute, quiet ones; others are drawn to the confident, ambitious ones; some prefer the consistently obedient ones.

I’ve realized I have a soft spot for the kids with a sense of humor.

I like the kids who know how to have a good time. Mostly because they help me to have a good time, too.

As a recovering perfectionist,

a former straight-A student who often struggled to have fun, and a teacher who often witnesses kids get crushed by the academic expectations of their parents and society, I find lightheartedness a particularly valuable asset in the classroom.

One of my current students regularly cracks up laughing during class.

I’m talking uncontrollable laughter. So loud some of the girls cover their ears in protest. I’m pretty sure this kid has ADD, and sometimes he drives me a little crazy with his noisy outbursts and nonsensical rants. But he also makes me laugh more than any other student.

A moment strikes him as humorous–like a kid accidentally saying “house wifi” instead of “house wife”–a moment that others would merely chuckle at or completely pass over, but he laughs so hard his face turns red.

He completely loses himself in the moment. And sometimes, I let go and lose myself in it with him.

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Elizabeth is an American living in South Korea who believes in destiny, miracles, and living life intentionally. She holds to simple faith in a complex world, values the beauty of the everyday, and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is always learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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