[content_protector password=”running”]Some schools have students in the playground – or teachers in the classroom – who think that they’re funny.
You know the ones. They keep telling funny stories, gently pick on other students and might lightly make fun of them in front of their classmates. Maybe they’ll ‘borrow’ an item of your stationery – a pencil sharpener, perhaps, or a ruler – and forget to return it, or accidentally use your felt-tip pens until all the colour has run out. Or, by ‘mistake’, hit or kick your tennis ball over the school fence and out of sight.
Everyone loves a joker! Everyone loves the joker when they’re not at the receiving end of the joke. Where’s the harm in a joke or two if you’re not the one being laughed at?
And the joker is often above the law. Somehow the firm application of the school rules don’t quite apply in the same way that they do to anyone else.
You see, if you make someone laugh – if you make the teachers laugh – you can get away with a little bit more. You’re a little bit more popular, a little bit above everyone around you. And in getting to be a little bit above everyone, you push everyone else down a little bit. And how does the joker do that? By telling jokes at other students’ expense: teasing, poking fun, being a little bit unpleasant.
So, my advice is this: start telling jokes; start playing the fool a bit more in class; maybe call out something witty instead of giving a correct answer when you’re asked a question. You’ll get away with it because you’ll be the new class joker; you’ll be a little bit more important than everyone else; and you can do things to other people because of your position.
It’s okay. Please don’t do that really. I’m only pulling your leg. Or hair.
[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry amongst your students:[/colored_box] [colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. When does a joke stop being a joke?
2. How can some people get away with things while others get punished?
[/colored_box] [colored_box color=”green”]Practical Tasks:
1. The news story about John Key pulling a waitress’ hair in Auckland has made front-page news around the world. Why do you think that this made headlines rather some of the other recent news and achievements by New Zealanders?
2. How should John Key make up for his behaviour?
[/colored_box] [colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say: [socialpoll id=”[socialpoll id=”2268433″] [/colored_box]