The Importance of Humor and Personal Stories in Teaching

Mason Riverwind

Updated Thursday, October 12, 2023 at 3:51 AM CDT

The Importance of Humor and Personal Stories in Teaching

The Value of a Teacher-Student Connection

In a recent Reddit post, a user expressed their dislike for teachers who incorporate humor and personal stories into their lessons. They argued that such behavior is unprofessional and a waste of time. However, many commenters disagreed, highlighting the importance of building relationships and connecting with students in the teaching profession.

While it is understandable that some students may prefer a more straightforward approach to teaching, it is crucial to recognize the benefits of humor and personal anecdotes in the classroom. Teachers who use these techniques aim to create a comfortable and engaging learning environment. By sharing personal stories, they humanize themselves and establish a connection with their students, making the learning experience more relatable and enjoyable.

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One commenter pointed out that teachers are not exempt from the challenges of commuting and early mornings. They, too, have to navigate public transportation and make sacrifices to be present in the classroom. Using humor and personal anecdotes is not a sign of unprofessionalism but rather an attempt to connect with students on a deeper level. It helps foster positive teacher-student relationships, which have been proven to improve student behavior and academic achievement.

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Another commenter, who had experience teaching at a community college, shared their perspective. They emphasized the value of sharing real-life stories, even if they were not directly related to the subject matter. By recounting their own mistakes and experiences, they were able to provide practical insights and demonstrate the consequences of certain actions. This approach not only made the lessons more memorable but also encouraged students to feel comfortable seeking help and guidance.

The commenter also highlighted the importance of understanding the challenges faced by teachers. Many educators, like themselves, juggle multiple responsibilities and make personal sacrifices to provide opportunities for their students. Dismissing their efforts to connect with students as a waste of time is disrespectful and fails to acknowledge the dedication and passion that teachers bring to their profession.

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In response to the original post, another commenter emphasized that professors are not mere knowledge-dispensing machines. They are human beings who aim to build relationships with their students while imparting knowledge. Just as most jobs allow for some level of socialization, teaching is no exception. It is essential to recognize that teachers are willing to engage in conversations about their lives during office hours if students are interested in connecting with them on a personal level.

In conclusion, the incorporation of humor and personal stories in teaching is not a sign of unprofessionalism but rather a valuable tool for building relationships and engaging students. By sharing personal experiences, teachers create a relatable and comfortable learning environment. These connections foster positive teacher-student relationships and enhance the overall learning experience. It is important to appreciate the efforts that teachers make to connect with their students and recognize the value of their personal stories in the classroom.

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