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Go on, give them a smile

* Don't do jokes that are unrelated to your lesson. Use humour to support learning.

* Be careful not to say things that will upset some children. There's no excuse for using humour to belittle or ridicule any person or group or belief.

* "Frame" your jokes so it's clear what they are. Children need to know that what they're hearing is a joke.

* Don't be afraid of to-and-fro banter with the class, especially when it's initiated by them, but be aware that group banter may be directed against an individual.

* It's no good being a joker if you can't teach. But humour can help you to teach in a non-threatening way and create an atmosphere in which children feel valued.

* Don't try to be what you're not. A long-serving and successful science teacher gives this advice. "I enjoy comedy, but I know I'm no good at it.

So I've never tried to do it. But I do make a point of smiling at the children a lot. I want them to know I'm pleased to be there with them. That seems to work well for me."

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