Teaching requires emotional labor. Humor is a promising but under-explored means of coping with such labor. A questionnaire was administered to 302 primary teachers to assess three kinds of emotional labor (surface, deep, and genuine acting) and four humor styles: two adaptive (affiliative and self-enhancing) and two maladaptive (aggressive and self-defeating). Affiliative and self-enhancing humor were positively correlated with emotional labor, whereas aggressive and self-defeating humor were negatively correlated with such labor. These results can help raise awareness of teaching's emotional demands, and encourage teacher-training and professional-development programs to showcase appropriate ways, including humor, of coping with workplace emotions.
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