Teaching Tip: Using Humor

Humor is an effective tool for engaging students and enhancing their learning and retention. The appropriate use of humor can decrease student anxiety (especially before a test), defuse tense situations, and maintain student focus and interest. Here are some tips to follow when using humor.
  • Acknowledge and laugh at your own mistakes.
  • Know which of your students can and cannot accept good-natured ribbing.
  • Use humorous anecdotes from your own life.
  • Avoid inappropriate humor such as sarcastic comments or anything that is off color.
  • Limit your use of humor to appropriate times. Your class should not turn into a comedy hour.
  • Where possible, tie your use of humor to the content you are teaching.
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