Humor in the classroom
Updated: Jan 8
As an educational clown, adding humor to the school day impacts the openness to learning. Sometimes, being silly and offering another perspective is just that: fun.
At a primary school recently, my clown alter-ego, Oshi, was asked to help find a broom.
Oshi found a chair.
The two first-graders looked at Oshi like she didn’t understand. In Hebrew, chair and broom almost rhyme. So, she explained that if they took her to their classroom, she’d explain to the teacher that although a broom was the goal, a chair was the result.
The teacher welcomed her in.
Oshi wondered aloud why the need for a broom.
The teacher pointed up to the overhead projector.
There is no broom – a la Matrix – wouldn’t work here. The kids were too young.
So, Oshi took a long look at the overhead projector. Then looked at her feet, slowly measuring her height compared to the distance of the power button. And Oshi looked at the chair.
Using hand movements, Oshi asked the teacher: chair – educational clown – projector?
The teacher voiced the idea to the class.
Excitement ensued. Could the chair and a clown replace the broom?
Oshi put the chair under the projector and got up on it. It was a tad short. Oshi got off.
Oshi surveyed the situation again.
Oshi asked for a volunteer to hold the chair. A boy readily agreed to do so. And while he was holding the chair (which Oshi did not end up using, but it was good that someone held the chair for the sake of holding a chair), Oshi got up on the adjacent school desk.
Ta da! Power on.
Oshi thanked the two girls for coming to get her, for asking for a broom but getting a chair. Oshi thanked the boy for holding the chair she didn’t need. Oshi thanked the class for their support.
And Oshi left with the chair.
An hour or so later, as Oshi was readying to leave the school, the two first-graders ran up to her. “Oshi,” they said, “we need you.”
Oshi apologized that she was leaving but would be happy to see them next week when she returns.
“No. We NEED you,” they repeated. “The projector turned off and we need YOU to turn it on.”
Oshi suggested they ask the maintenance guy on the ladder who was fixing something in the secretary’s office.
Or, she added, they could find a broom.
Original version of this post was published by Oshi Educational Clown, my alter-ego.