Government. You know it’s beneficial to learn about because the senior class is voting this year, and when your time comes to vote you’ll want some sort of opinion to base that on. It’s just so incredibly hard to focus in gov class--you need some sort of push or incentive to keep you awake and ready to answer questions with confidence! Luckily the cute guy that happens to sit next to you is quite the jokester. This is perfect: you can make a new friend, and have an excuse to pay attention in class. Having a student or two to crack jokes during class is a lot more beneficial than one would think. Obviously it’s nice to have a laugh during a somewhat serious class, but this also acts as an incentive for the rest of the class to pay attention, to ensure that they can understand the next joke someone could pull.
Teachers could think of this as annoying or even disrespectful (maybe laughing at the important people isn’t the best way to learn things), but if these jokes benefit the class and their overall learning experience, it might be worth the small frustrations. Showing the frustration might even make the content more memorable to a student: “Oh my goodness, I remember when we were learning about the oligarchy in China and then Student A pulled that joke and Mr. Teacher got so mad! I’ll definitely remember that section on the exams!”. Bam. Now the whole class might have a higher test score average.
One of the harder subjects to joke around with is math. It’s not really common to be laughing hysterically at numbers on the daily, but if someone can manage to pull something, even if it’s cheesy, it might just help someone remember a tough formula or specific step in a long process to find an answer. One math teacher I’ll never forget was Mr. Ballesteros, who taught Integrated Math III. Within the first week I remember knowing that his class would be one of my favorites: he enjoyed talking about pop culture with us during breaks or before class. This would not only make us laugh, watching his reactions to songs like “Gucci Gang”, but it would also relax our minds and push us to focus on the task at hand since he put focus into whatever we had to show him that day. He also made a song to the tune of the “Adventure Time” theme song which covered one of the more lengthy formulas we had to memorize. I may not remember that formula now, but it sure did help me on the test, and that’s really all that matters. Having a kid that goofs off every once in a while, might be a small nuisance for some people, but also might be one of the smartest techniques on how to keep a class’s grade average up.
I’d like to throw out a thank you to all the kids in tough classes that are able to use power, confidence, and creativity to find humor among heavy or dense topics. You spread joy to so many and may even raise the grades of some students, who shall be forever thankful for your efforts.