Weekly Slides

Week 25 - Humor

By Jeff Bryan

Well, here’s to another snow day.

-Principal Mike Domagalski

For an overview of each weekly slide presentation, please skip below to your specific grade level.
  • To see the 1-page Humor Character Card and share it with your students’ families, click here.
  • For the P2 Reflection Journals, used by all elementary students at the end of the week, click here.

Humor means that you like to laugh and bring smiles to other people. It is a sense of playfulness and lightness. A way of looking at and describing the world that brings laughter to people. A person with the strength of humor is skilled at seeing at the funny side of things, bringing smiles and laughter to others, and identifying and communicating the absurdities in life. People with this strength don’t specifically need to be joke tellers, although many are.

Humor can have a dark side, depending on how it’s used. Some humor is mean spirited and bullying. The strength of humor that the character strength focuses on is that which raises the spirits of other people.

This week’s examples are two Michigan principals: Jonathan Swegles of Lakeshore Middle School and Mike Domagalski of St. Clair Middle School. These leaders exemplify this character strength in their regular interactions with students, staff, and fellow educators. For great examples of how they bring humor to their work, check out the below videos they created during a long stretch of bad weather and school closings in January 2019.

Principal Jonathan Swegles demonstrating the character strength of humor.

So, why does humor matter?

For individuals, humor has important health benefits, both mental and physical. Humor stretches the mind to look at things from different perspectives, keeping people mentally agile and alert. Making people laugh also produces positive emotions and happiness for the initiator. And, when people are on the receiving end of humor, they also receive many benefits. Scientists have shown that laughter reduces stress, promotes connection with other people, and can even improve focus. Laughter is contagious and bonds us to other people.

Humor plays an important role in helping groups of people rise above difficult circumstances and boost morale. It removes us from our present difficulties by easing tension and making life more fun. This is why athletic teams often need a jokester to help them get through tough losses and early morning fitness sessions. On a larger societal level, humor often helps downtrodden groups find cohesion and strength. This is why Simon Wiesenthal said, “Humor is the weapon of unarmed people: it helps people who are oppressed smile at the situation that pains them.”


And, as a reminder, you can find all of our weekly slide presentations on our website’s Resources page here. This page is the place that we recommend you go to access all of the resources — not via Google Drive folders.

To find your grade level’s presentation, you can simply type the words “humor” into the Resource Title search bar or sort by Character Strength and select Humor. Each of those options will provide you with 10 slide presentations and one 1-page character card. For a simple overview of the Resources page, with pictures and videos, click here.

Jeff Bryan
CEO and Co-Founder of The Positivity Project

Jeff Bryan is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Positivity Project. In this role, he leads the organization to support educators to empower their students to build positive relationships and become their best selves.