At the end of the Show Up for Teachers Conference, the comedy group The Johnson Files performed for a few thousand teachers. This seemed so appropriate. As a 10-year veteran of the classroom, my favorite part of every school day is laughing with students. I know that there is a time and place for laughter in a classroom. Laughter allows students to feel comfortable interacting with people they don’t know and try hard academic tasks.

In the classroom, I teach the best and brightest people I have ever met. They are intelligent, motivated and also human. During testing season, the frustration of high-stakes tests often boils over, reducing students to a pool of water and sobs. Here, I have found laughter to be the best solution. This testing season, I dressed up as a hippie. It was humiliating, but the students laughed a lot. Funny thing — they all performed well on their tests.

Thank you, first lady Abby Cox, for organizing the Show Up For Teachers Conference. It was a fantastic experience and a great reminder to laugh more in my classroom. 

John Brumbaugh