Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Power of Laughter

The first week back is almost over – one day left. For some reason this week after Christmas break is as exhausting to me as the first week of school. My body wants to sleep in, curl up with a book, and graze on sweets all day long. Instead, we’re back at it; jumping into a new unit on non-fiction; holding Skype visits and guest speakers; reading, reading, and reading.

Today the students entered the room after playing on the playground before the bell rang. One of my students, who is a bit of a daredevil and tends to be injury prone, came up to show me his elbow. We’ve joked all year that I don’t want a concussion or front teeth knocked out during fifth grade. Not on my watch. J His elbow was bleeding. I looked at him, raised an eyebrow, asked what happened. Basketball, it seems, is a dangerous sport. He looked at me, grinned, and said that there were more scrapes where this came from. I asked where. Yep, sure did. What was I thinking? His grin widened and he said, “On my butt.” I looked at him, at his friend who is like Velcro to his side, and hooted with laughter. Told him he was on his own with those injuries.

And the day took off from there. It seemed one experience led to another and laughter over took. Raced my students on the playground to the door (we were freezing after checking out something outside.) Tongue-tied during read aloud to the point I made no sense. Comparing war stories with a colleague after school. Singing with a student and realizing we were both singing The Duck Song. Laughter filled my day.

Coming home Liam and I compared happy dances in the kitchen. A dear friend called and a five-minute conversation stretched to over an hour. As I cradled the phone by my ear, lying prone on my bed, laughing so hard that my stomach ached and tears streamed down my face, I realized that I felt lighter. (No thanks to the batch of cookies I just baked.) Laughter really is the best medicine. I think tomorrow I am going to show my students the last twenty seconds of this video and we’ll see what their happy dance is. Nope, not on any standards I know of, but I have a feeling we will all be better off as a result.