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Raquel Rodriguez

Keynote #5: Happy Teachers, Happy Classrooms: Rethinking the Teacher/Student Relationship

Raquel Rodrìguez Rivera is the founder and president ofFundación Narices Rojas, an Ecuadorian non-profit organization of therapeutic clowns who have been bringing laughter and joy to over 160,000 patients, their family and staff in Ecuadorian hospitals since 2006. She was an acclaimed professional actress, story teller, director and organizer of international events for over 20 years before refocusing her life to helping others as a therapeutic clown, following a life-threatening disease that led to an open-heart surgery and two full months in an intensive care hospital unit. She discovered Laughter Yoga in 2011, but only truly fell in love with this particular approach to laughter when she trained with Sebastien Gendry as a Certified Laughter Wellness Teacher, level 2, in 2012 and level 3 in 2013. She is now actively promoting and teaching Laughter Wellness in South America and has specialized in particular in working with teachers of primary and secondary education. Read more about Raquel Rodriguez at

Take a moment to give thanks for loads of things, from breathing to having sight, to standing here, to tell you how important you are to me

Raquel’s Introduction Story:

Everyone wants the best for everyone else. I learned to reproduce whatever you see in school. Teachers can be controlling and scary or an affectionate relationship with students. The way you look into students eyes and say things can change the relationship. You can be either a teacher or a master. I juggle between discipline and play. So I would count, and scream and run around with the kids. Then I taught as normal theater teacher and body expression. I worked with values, never did competitive games, and it was all about playing and enjoying the play.

I connected with the students as an equal. They taught me freshness, ingenuity, capacity to be alive, and a lot of love.One day was doing biodance and had learned to hug, and a girl came up and hugged her, and then everyone was in line. You have to think of how you want others to remember you, for yourself


  • If you are teaching, have students stand up and do something quick (“I’m happy dance”)
  • Have to be faithful to yourself… it’s a personal choice you make every day, every moment
    • I embrace sadness if I have it
    • A Hawaiian philosophy is that if you have pain in your body for 3 days you get sick, so if you have pain, you have to address it
  • When I am in choice, everything changes around me, I live with ease, and I convey that to everyone
  • Always create, on the moment
    • Just play and find pleasure in everything
    • The past has past, and who knows about the future, you are here now
    • We are exchanging energy now
    • And I give you the best version of myself
    • The best version of yourself is going to come to me, because I receive everything I give
        • The ____ I give, the ____ I receive
          • love, joy, compassion, peace, smile, hug
  • They Pygmation effect and the power of positive expectations
  • I want to teach how to live, and I learned by being and by telling the story of how I became me
  • Had to do self-exploration experiences
  • Take a deep breath and close your eyes and thank your heart

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