We are just coming to the end of another great and fulfilling session at CADH and the anxiety and stress students and staff feel are loud and clear!!
At this time of year, when the session is coming to a close, I often reflect on how we, as teachers and administrators can ease the stress and anxiety that students are feeling. They are worried because they have examinations coming up and they want to ensure they have studied adequately. They are worried because they have a few clinical requirements that need to be completed and they are worried that the client they need for these requirements may not show up for clinic-the list goes on and on!
Never fear for we at CADH have a solution! Recently, I was reading an article about how teachers can help energize their students through the use of humour and it struck me that this is definitely something that can help alleviate the “fear factor” that students feel at this time of year. According to Edward de Bono, a Maltese physician and author, a�?humor is by far the most significant activity of the human braina�? (Brainy Quote, nd) and we need to be able to use this strategy to help ease our studentsa�� fears. One of the first things we can do is to smile, something we as oral health educators should do naturally!! Another thing we can do is use humour in approach. When we use humour, we should ensure it is used in a sensitive manner, with knowledge of our audience in mind, ensuring we do not tell jokes that we do not know well and personalizing them whenever possible (Rieger, 2013). Banas, Dunbar, Rodriguez and Liu (as referenced by Weimer, 2013) in their review of the literature, recommended that teachers use only positive humour and never use hostile or negative humour; in addition, they concluded humor has a positive effect on studentsa�� attention level and interest. I must say that it is comforting to know that there are others “out there” that are having fun even when times dictate the opposite! Persevere educators and students…and laugh a little!!
Brainy Quote (nd). Taken Sept 16, 2013 from: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/edwarddebo383454.html
Rieger, A. (2012). Energize Your Classroom with Humor. The Teaching Professor 26(7) [internet]. Taken Sept 16, 2013 from: http://www.scribd.com/doc/165226812/The-Teaching-Professor-Sample-Issue.
Weimer, M. (2013). Humor in the Classroom: 40 Years of Research. Faculty Focus [internet]. Taken Sept 16, 2013 from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/humor-in-the-classroom-40-years-of-research/.