Sue Stephenson’s Top 10 Laughter Tips

Kidding Aroundauthor of Kidding Around: connecting kids to happiness, laughter & humour

1. Nurture your own sense of humour, like a unique funprint, and laugh more.

Rediscover your inner child. Search for funny entertainment. Tell stories about yourself. Collect funny stuff. Go fun places with fun people. Look for the humour around you. If you’re excited – tell your face and smile! You may even have to “Fake it, ’til you make it”. No matter what attitude you have – you have chosen it.

2. Take your work seriously but yourself lightly. Lighten Up!

Find the perfect blend of play, fun and work to make yours a positive experience. Remember The Happiness Scale and make an effort each day to be on the + side. Invent a new job title for yourself like “Chief Goddess of the Photocopier” – make one up.

3. Reach out for help if you need it! Watch for signs of depression in others too.

If you are feeling depressed or sad, reach out for help and talk it over with a doctor and friend.

4. Teach your family, staff and students about laughter and happiness too.

Teachers can include these strategies and concepts in their curriculum. Encourage children who have comedic intelligence by positively channeling their energy. Make fun a discussable topic too!

5. Try new things – be eclectic and playful.

Keep reinventing yourself, dare to be different and get excited about something! Find music that makes you feel good. Burn a Happy CD for yourself to play when you need it. Try these three websites:, (Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor) and

6. Enjoy others for who they are.

Focus less on controlling and changing them to be what you want. Start now and forgive the past. Live in gratitude for what you have. Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle. Variety is the spice of laughter too. Remember The Serenity Prayer “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

7. Laugh with other people, not at them, nor at their expense.

Laughter is contagious so start an epidemic! Be inclusive with humour. The only person you can safely laugh at is yourself. Be conscious of appropriate and helpful humour and eliminate non-appropriate or hurtful humour. Think carefully about the use of sarcasm. Teach children about this too as part of an antibullying program, They often don’t know the difference.

8. Eliminate Roadblocks to Fun Through Trust and Teamwork

Laughter & humour are part of the bigger picture of the Circle of Trust. Make trust a discussable topic!

9. Structure the fun at first and then it will become more spontaneous.

Employees must take responsibility and design the fun environment they want at work. Give people permission to laugh and have fun. Social activities help and time to have some fun! Ask for suggestions and have a Committee for Fun! Remember there are different humour personalities.

10. Live each day like it’s your last!

My motto is Squeeze the Day! You never know when it will be your last. Show up fully present. Woody Allen used to say, “80% of success in life is just showing up!”


About Sue Stephenson’s eCourse, launching February 26


Happiness, Laughter and Humour: Critical Components of Positive Education And Mental Health Literacy

— Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before. — Steven Wright —

Happiness, laughter & humour ecourseSue Stephenson isn’t kidding around when she says educators need to lighten up and love what they do to create caring, healthy classrooms and even affect the schools they work in. The Happiness, Laughter and Humour: Critical Components of Positive Education And Mental Health Literacy eCourse is based on Sue Stephenson’s book Kidding Around: connecting kids to happiness, laughter and humour. Each participant will receive a digital copy of Kidding Around and read this book as we move through the e-course. The book and course will provide over forty activities to get you started and is intended to provide a new slant on the urgent challenge to focus on mental health literacy, well-being and resilience — for both kids and staff.

Teachers and kids are struggling to survive in a crowded curriculum with high stakes testing and hyper accountability. Educators tell Sue they are so stressed and anxious that they don’t do much laughing anymore. Sue believes that without a sense of happiness and well-being, neither educators nor kids can do their best work and stay in school.

— As one cannibal said to the other as they ate the class clown, “Does this taste funny to you? —

In this course, we will use two focus strands throughout each week – the well-being of both you and your students. We will consider three levels of implementation: testing the water, getting your feet wet, jumping in the deep end and where you feel most comfortable. We will experience specific life strategies to use personally and with students, including curriculum applications and assessment practices.

Course Outline

  • Week One – Permission to Have Fun – in your life and at school
  • Week Two – Happiness, Resilience and Positive Education
  • Week Three – Laughter and Gelopedia
  • Week Four – Humor and Comedy
  • Week Five – Where Do We “Kid Around” from Here?

— A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. — Steve Martin —

Enroll now

About the instructor

sue.jpegSue Stephenson leads a dynamic Canadian company called Her keynotes and workshops focus on a passion for happiness & laughter and teamwork & trust. Sue has always been optimistic about universal success for all students and she’s not joking when she says we all need to lighten up, laugh more and look on the bright side of life.Sue holds a Master of Education degree and has over 40 years of experience as a teacher, principal, staff developer, instructional consultant, author and speaker. She has written four books that focus on building trusting relationships and positive methods to cope with stress.

Graduate Credit AvailableAfter the course begins, graduate credit may be obtained through North Dakota State University. Get complete details here.
Enroll now


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Powerful Learning Practice

During a 25-year education career, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach has been a classroom teacher, technology coach, charter school principal, district administrator, university instructor and digital learning consultant. Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice, where she works with schools and districts from around the world to re-envision their learning cultures and communities through the Connected Learner Experience and other e-learning opportunities. She is the author (with Lani Ritter Hall) of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age (Solution Tree, 2012) and serves on the ISTE Board of Directors.

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