When you’re a kindergarten teacher, you laugh every single day. If you don’t, you may not be doing it right!
I’ve found that it doesn’t matter what sort of mood you happen to be in, you will always be forced to laugh out loud at some point whether you thought it possible or not. You can be feeling tired, angry, sad, irritable, or just plain fed up, and still you will find yourself throwing back your head and laughing loudly.
For me, it’s usually one of two things: an amusingly unexpected observation by a sharp-witted child, or the sound of them laughing hysterically/uncontrollably. Both are capable of snapping me out of a bad mood entirely, or at least of making me temporarily forget why I was angry or annoyed. Just this morning, I was feeling irritated with my boss for springing something on me at the last minute again, and could not have felt less like watching a movie with my youngest class. I felt tired and grumpy, and foresaw half an hour of wearily repeating “Don’t speak Korean!” and pausing the action every 2 minutes to check that they understood and explain when they didn’t. Instead, I left half an hour later grinning to myself, in a cheerful mood that lasted me throughout the whole day… simply because I enjoyed the children’s delighted laughter at the movie, which really captured their imagination. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, by the way – watch it with kids if you have the opportunity! It’s about a scientist who succeeds in making a machine that can convert water into any food of his choosing, so by programming it and launching it into the clouds, he can make it rain food. The kids were overjoyed by this idea. They listened intently, and were able to explain everything to me when I paused to check comprehension. And when they started to laugh uncontrollably, clapping their hands at the burgers and steaks and hot dogs raining from the sky, I couldn’t stay in my grumpy mood!
This afternoon, I was sitting at my desk doing some planning for my elementary school classes, when I heard giggling coming from outside my door. I ignored it at first, but it gradually became full-on hysterical laughter, and I was intrigued. I opened my door, and followed the laughter to the classroom opposite mine, where two of my youngest girls had apparently been left to catch up on some written work they’d missed when they were off sick. These girls are really smart and very sweet, and I listened as they continued with their conversation, which was so amusing to them that they just could not control their laughter. Eventually I started to laugh, too, alerting them to my presence and making everything even more hilarious to them. I only thought to record the scene towards the end, when they were calming down slightly, but it still makes me smile:
Who could fail to be happy at work when that’s the sound you can hear all around you?! Another perk of the job: laughter. Every day.