This topic is dear to my heart. After reading Carl Roger's "On Becoming a Person" years ago, I really was transformed and saw my classroom differently. I'll be relating this in my speech and how I see teaching as so important - not because it will create the next Albert Einstein but because it may help produce a happy person. And there is a lot we can do to enable this!
Happiness, humour, fun are all ingredients to a successful classroom. I would put another requirement not just as important but in fact more important for a successful classroom and that is engagement in learning. Happiness etc is all well and good but without the other, what are we really doing. My suggestion is that once there is engagement, happiness will follow.
I am here talking about real engagement of the kind we experience when something can't drag us away from what we are involved in. That is true engagement. I wrote a post about this primarily intended for language learners, however I think it will add value in this context.
This young man asks: "What if we made school about being healthy and happy?" Good question and something for us all to think about.
This is a great read! Harvard researchers have identified keys to happiness....
Thanks for the link, Dave... I've got it up in my tabs to read... one of my kids is going to be a teacher (Tim)