A classic comedic adage is, “If there’s no corpse, there’s usually no joke.”
Humor typically attacks or ridicules something – people, places, things, and ideas. If humor targets are not cautiously selected, teachers can expect a nastygram from someone – student, parent, or boss.
The safest humor target is always yourself. Self-deprecating humor avoids offending or alienating others and allows students to view the teacher as more “human.”
Instructors should wear a humor bullseye and fire away. Funny personal anecdotes always work. Any “World’s Dumbest Teacher” story is instructional comedic gold and will make students feel superior and build the student-teacher connection.
The primary reason to become a parent is to improve one’s Instagram feed – cute kid photos always increase the number of followers and likes. The second reason to have a child is to enhance storytelling. Funny family anecdotes are also safe targets.
In the artificial setting of remote learning, teachers must select humor targets carefully. Otherwise, the humor will backfire and detrimentally impact instruction. The safest targets, and the ones that can promote virtual communication, are the ones facing your computer camera.