Deadlines and due dates, rushed lunches and drive thru. Clothes in the hamper and shoes stepped in dog poo. Silver white tresses that shock my brown eyes, these are the few of the reasons I sigh. When the kids fight, when the bills sting, when I’m feeling sad; I simply remember to laugh rather than cry and then I don’t feel, so bad!
I have to admit it has taken several circumstances in my life to take me past the point of tears, straight to hysteria, one of which being in the classroom. There is nothing like a flooded large muscle room, 24 shocked three-year-olds, two teachers trying to mop and 15 students from another class due to eat lunch in said flooded basement in 20 minutes to really fry your nerves. Oh, did I mention that the flood was due to an overflowing potty that I missed seeing due to the distraction of breaking up the block war taking place on the carpet?
There were wet socks (mine), wet eyes (my co-teacher) and wet pants (my youngest student) all around. As my director rushed to contact our local water expert and came down to help us start the evacuation process because the stairs were blocked by the newly created moat, there was only one thing left for me to do: save my sanity by choosing laughter. Now before you rush to judge me as an uncaring educator or irresponsible employee, allow me to challenge you to think of similar situations where reacting with negativity and a bad attitude not only created more tension and stress but magnified the situation to be far worse than it actually was. The children were safe, the carpet would dry and eating lunch a few minutes late was not the end of the world. In our field, it’s all in a days work!
Our team pulled together magnificently and tackled the problem (that potty was later replaced as it wasn’t working properly—I swear!) with a positive energy that could be felt by everyone involved, even years later. The pictures and video are priceless and reminiscing about it leaves us all in stitches. And let’s be honest, who would feel the tension and sweat the stress the most had we chosen to react differently? The children! And they don’t deserve it!
The first day of school, holiday parties and picture day can pack enough punch to make your head spin, but making a conscious effort to laugh instead of cry or scream or even pout can save your sanity and everyone else’s, including the children in your care. So the next time you are cleaning paint out of clothes, gum out of hair, dirt out of a mouth or are wringing water out of your sopping wet socks, I challenge you before you lose your mind to find your laughter!
Does your laughter need resurrected? Need to stimulate your smile? Want to learn more about how to use humor in your life to banish stress and negativity? Join us at the Eighth Annual Northern Kentucky Leadership Conference where keynote speaker Cea Cohen Elliott teaches us how to “Laugh For the Health of It”! Register by Sept. 30 to get the early bird price!