Less Stress: Play At Work Stress Reduction by Joel Wagner - November 2, 2007July 5, 20100 We come now to the final chapter of our 25 Tips For Less Stress. This is perhaps my favorite one of all. Without this decision, you cannot have a stress-free life. The key is to choose to have fun at work. No matter what industry you work in, if you love your job, you will be more productive. In education, our products are educated people. The more we love teaching, the more of our children will be successful. That love will translate into their development of greater passion for learning. It’s an upward spiral. Conversely, when we hate our job — or when we just show up to collect the paycheck — it also shows. The students laboriously come to class each day. They don’t smile in class, they don’t laugh, they don’t joke with you. Also, you don’t laugh or joke with them. One of the vital elements in a fun classroom is humor. Teaching in public school without humor is like watching a cartoon without fluid animation. Sure it can be done and tolerated, but it’s not the best thing out there, and it usually doesn’t end up as satisfying as the alternative. Have fun, remind yourself why exactly you got into your profession, and let that joy overflow from you into the lives of your students. Or the lives of your customers. Or the lives of your clients. Or the lives of your coworkers. Whatever the case may be, emit the joy you have for your subject matter! It’s one of the best decisions you can make! Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.