Don't Smile 'Til December? Humor in the Classroom

Lesson Objective: Classroom management is important, but don't forget to be yourself
All Grades / All Subjects / Class Culture


Enjoy your first three pieces of content for free. Subscribe for unlimited access.

Have questions about subscribing? Click Here to learn more.

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Cohen use humor to quickly diffuse a situation?
  2. How does humor complement Ms. Cohen's instruction rather than interrupt it?
  3. How could you use humor to enhance your classroom -- keep it natural and consistent with your personality?

When I interviewed for my position I was asked what I wanted in way of a team.  My response was I need to have a team that can laugh.  Because it was important for all of us to be able to laugh not only at the funny things the kids say but also at ourselves.  At the end of the day humor relieves all the stresses of the day for everyone.

Recommended (0)

I do believe humor is important, you have to know your students to choose the right humor, too.  To a 1st. year teacher, I would never suggest using humor as a class mangement tool without rules.  Rules and then humor. She does have rules just not written or do her kids sit anywhere and leave class anytime they like?  

Recommended (0)
This video was great. It shows that everyone can still have fun while learning. Ms. Cohen did a great job in doing both!
Recommended (0)
This video was awesome! I think Galeet's humor really helps keeps the students engaged. They feel more at ease and I notice that they are more willing to participate in activities. I agree that humor helps students open up and think it's important that teachers let loose a little. After working with students for 2 years, I realized that humor is absolutely necessary!
Recommended (0)
I do play with my kiddos. You have to stay on your toes with kindergarteners. If it isn't entertaining, I loose their attention real quick.
Recommended (0)

External Resource Materials


  • 05:30: GALEET COHEN: The role of humor in the classroom is essential because kid are funny, and you have to spend

    05:30: GALEET COHEN: The role of humor in the classroom is essential because kid are funny, and you have to spend at least six hours a day in your classroom with them, so you should be having a good time.
    05:43: GALEET COHEN [in class]: PS, there’s no TCE in this lab. You’re not getting cancer. Just so you know. It’s low stakes.
    STUDENT 2: But I really like carcinogens.
    STUDENTS: [Laughter]
    GALEET COHEN [in class]: So [laughs], you get them everywhere, you don’t need to get them here. So.
    05:57: GALEET COHEN: It helps to diffuse a situation with a joke to let a student know that you see something or that you know something, and not instantly respond with detention. I don’t have rules posted in my room or consequences posted in my room because if you do that, you are stuck going down this stated line of rules and consequences, and if instead you address a situation with humor, most of the time a student is just testing you and wants to know if see what’s going on.
    06:24: GALEET COHEN [in class]: Double click. Again. Worst double-clicker ever. Can I try?
    STUDENT 3: Yeah.
    GALEET COHEN [in class]: Maybe it just –
    STUDENT 3: See, it doesn’t listen to me.
    GALEET COHEN [in class]: Oh, it’s okay, it’s fine.
    06:34: GALEET COHEN: If you play with them, they’ll play with you, and it’s the only way to get them to unravel enough to let them know – let you know what’s going on in their lives, and that’s the most important thing you can do.

School Details

Central High School
1700 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia PA 19141
Population: 2241

Data Provided By:



Galeet Cohen
Science / 9 11 12 / Teacher

Lesson Planning


Professional Learning