Welcome!teach To Be Happy

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Do you like comedy?

Do you like seeing comedians in your free time?

Do you like bad dad jokes?

Do you want to hear some of the most amazing comments that make you cry laughing?

You do?


You will hear some of the craziest stories, comments, and most hilarious things you have ever heard. There have been many times I have laughed so hard that I cried. These are the moments I love in the classroom because they are spontaneous and unplanned. I enjoy these moments with my students because we can laugh together with pure joy.

Every year teaching, I have bought a notebook to write down all these amazing moments in my classroom. I have so many notebooks full of student funnies from my teaching in elementary and middle school. I did not want to forget any of them.

Here are some of my favorite student responses from over the years . Please enjoy. If you are a teacher, add your own in the comments. I would love to hear them.

Things I should not have to tell my students:

6th grade—We were discussing writing and using all five senses to create your story. I took them out to the playground and told them to use their senses to write a short paragraph.

As I am giving them directions, one of my students raised his hand. I saw the look in his eyes and just KNEW what he was going to ask.

ME: Please do NOT lick the playground.

8th grade—I am giving the students directions on what to do and I look back and see one of my students……..

ME: Please don’t put your pen in your ear.

Student #1: But…

Student #2: Wait, I wanna see what that feels like (puts pen in his ear)

ME: Get the pen out of your ears!

Welcome Teach To Be Happy Wishes

Yeah, that is not quite right:

8th grade—The students had just gotten back from Christmas break, and a student was telling the class what they got for Christmas.

Student #1: I got a polaroid camera for Christmas.

ME: Man, those things are making a comeback.

Student #2: Polaroid? That’s a disease, right?

ME: Um, no, not at all.

Student #2: No, isn’t it a disease. I thought that’s what it was.

ME: Polio?

Student #2: Oh, wait. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

5th grade—Playing a review game for Old World History.

ME: What are the two holy cities of Islam?

Student #1: Mecca and um…. I don’t know.

ME: (looking at other student) If you can name the other one, I will give you a point, too.

Student #2: Madonna?

ME: No, Medina.

I cannot make this stuff up:

7th grade— We were in English so I’m not really sure why we got on the subject of geography. I think maybe North Dakota was in a sentence or something. Then this great response came:

Student #1: So there’s really a North Dakota?

ME: Um, yeah, you should know this already. There’s a South Dakota, too.

Welcome!teach To Be Happy

Student #2: There’s a Virginia and West Virginia. Is there a South Virginia?

ME: Did you not learn this in history by now?

5th grade—Reviewing for history.

ME: What is the study of the earth?

Welcome Teach To Be Happy Birthday Card

Student: Geometry

8th grade—This was my first year coaching softball, and it was the first game of the season. We had been practicing for over a month. We had just finished the first half of an inning as the home team, and the girls were running back into the dugout. One of my outfielders asked me what the score was so I told her how many the other team scored. The next part of the story left me speechless… Reminder-We are the HOME team. Another piece of information- She has played softball before.

Student: What’s the score?

ME: They scored five.

Student: What did we score?

ME: We have not batted yet?

Student: Yeah, but how many did we score?

ME: (shocked and spoke a little slower) We have not batted yet?

Student: Right, but how many did we score?

ME: The game just started. You just came in from the field. We have not batted yet, so we cannot score any points.

Student: Oh! So we only score when we bat?

(The whole dugout stops and is in shock)

HappyWelcome teach to be happy birthday

ME: (pause) (speechless) (says slowly) Yes.

Student: Oh okay!

ME: (still in shock)

This junk is funny:

7th grade—We were talking about popping fireworks and some of what they told we was not particularly safe. I told them that are lucky they did not burn anything down. Another student chimed in with a response, and it went downhill from there. You should recognize the State Farm commercial.

Student #1: I burned down my grandpa’s shed.

ME: Burned it all the way down?

Student #1: Yes. My grandpa’s shed

Student #2: She shed?

Student #3: Cheryl’s she shed?

8th grade—I work at a private school so many of my students live 20 sometimes 30 minutes away. Quite a few of them live in swamp areas or country areas with lots of wildlife.

For homework, my students had to complete their study guide. I put it online and later that night, I got this response on Google Classroom from one of my students.

Student: Mmmm I don’t think so. I went outside to go get my booksack in the car and when I walked down the front porch, I saw a bear eating our trash, so that’s a big no no. That study guide is #notgonnahappen.

There will always be more moments.

These are the moments that I read over and over again in my “Funny” books (the students named it). You never know what is going to happen at any moment. One day, a student will have a brick in his booksack because it is his “pet”, the next you are finding a student’s parent’s food stamp card in his pocket. This is what makes teaching SO MUCH FUN!!!

It only gets better from here! 🙂 Be on the lookout for more funny student stories in the future.

Where are you when the bell rings, and the students enter your classroom? A lot of teachers stand by the door, and welcome the kids in with a smile and a maybe a high five. This is awesome.

If you’re doing this, please keep doing it. This is a great way to start the class. I know that sometimes, it’s not possible to be at the door when the kids come in, because you don’t have everything ready for the lesson, or you are making copies or setting up the class. If you can, however, do your best to welcome the students into your room.

In this strategy, however, I’m encouraging you to inject some extra energy and positivity to this practice, which will bring some extra happiness to your day as well as into the lives of your kids.


Every morning, I stand at the top of the stairs leading into the school building from the quad. The bell rings at 7:52 a.m., and the kids wait impatiently behind the yellow line for the bell to ring, so they can get to class. As assistant principal, I am there to supervise the students before school.

Finally, the bell rings, and students rush up the stairs. After my obligatory, “Slow down,” I begin.

“Welcome to school guys. Thank you for coming. I am so glad that you came today. It’s going to be a great day. It’s going to be the best day ever! I was having a bad day until you guys showed up. Now I am excited! You are going to learn so much today. You are going to go home smarter than you came in today. You’re going to make new friends. You’re going to be blown away by what your teachers have prepared for you. They have been working hard to create lessons that will make you say “WOW!” Thank you for showing up. You didn’t have to come. You could have made up some excuse to say home, but you didn’t. You came to school, and I am so happy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

Every day I say something different, basically whatever pops into my mind as they are filing into the building, but for the most part, the message is the same. Most students don’t acknowledge my greetings, but every now and then, a student will say, “You’re welcome, Mr. Rangel.”

I know it looks like I’m just giving the students an extra enthusiastic welcome to the school day, but I’m actually doing much more. I’m injecting gratitude and positive expectations into their young brains. I’m influencing their mindset about school.

Instead of starting off their day with the usual, “Make sure you stay in line. Follow the rules. Make good choices. Turn in your homework, etc.,” I am deliberately starting off their day with something good. You never know what kind of morning these kids have had. Maybe they’re coming from a home where there is nothing good going on. Maybe one of those students coming past me is thinking about hurting herself. I have the unique opportunity to bring some light into their worlds as they walk into my school, and that brings me joy. It starts my day off with some good vibes, and I love it.

As a classroom teacher, you have an even greater opportunity. You don’t have 500 kids rushing past you like I do. My influence is diluted among all the kids coming into the building. You, however, have a smaller number of students coming in to your classroom, and you know all their names.

As they come in to your classroom, give them more than just a high five. Give them some gratitude and something to look forward to.

“Hi Mark, thank you for coming today. Today is going to be great day!”

“Good morning Stephanie, thank you for being here. You’re going to learn a lot today. I promise.”

As you’ll read over and over in my upcoming book, gratitude is such an important element in the happiness equation. By making an effort to inject a dose of gratitude into the lives of your students as they come into your class, you will see the levels of happiness grow not only in their lives, but in yours as well.

Give it a try. It will seem strange at first, but let it become part of your daily routine. It has been a great addition to my daily routine, and when I can’t be there in the morning, I inevitably hear it from one of the kids. “Where were you this morning, Mr. Rangel?” They come to expect it, and that makes me happy.

This is one of the strategies that will be included in my upcoming book, Teach Happier – 20 Strategies to Help Teachers Love What They Do Even More!
Sign up to be notified when the book is available at TeachHappier.com.

Until next time, here’s to your Success in the Classroom!

Thank you,