Are You a Joy Remover?

Reading this during the lazy spring break morning coffee time caused me to reflect on the joy that is missing, not only in my classroom, but my professional life. Joy that has been lost due to focusing on “have to” and saying yes, when I really wanted to say no. This week has been about reflection, soul searching and developing a meaningful purpose to the things I commit myself to. Add return of JOY to the purpose. If what I say yes to does not bring joy, if what is put on the class schedule does not foster JOY, then it needs to be purged from the calendar!

image from icanread

Dean Shareski asked me (and many others) yesterday, “Whatever happened to joy?”   A simple question really that should be easy to answer if you are a teacher – it’s right in our classrooms – but then again, one that requires more thought.  Is joy really prevalent in our classrooms?  Or is it reserved for special occasions or for those students who earn it?

Joy is often associated with special events in a classroom.  We earn our joy and happiness through parties.  When I gave up punishment and rewards, I didn’t get rid of joy, I just tried to make sure it was always present rather than something we marked on the calendar.  And yet, in today’s learning environment we seem to reserve joy not just to special occasions but also to those who we find deserving of it.  If a child is behind academically, joy…

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