Monday, December 17, 2018

COMPELLED: Week 15 - Joy

Welcome to the final week of a 15-week series where I share quotes, examples, and/or stories about 15 of the characteristics that I believe are demonstrated by Compelled Educators everywhere. 

I hope you will share your favorite quote or story each week in the comments below. You can also leave a comment on the Compelled Educator Facebook page

I'm a huge fan of school. I loved all the schools I attended... elementary (I went to two elementary schools), junior high, and high schools (I went to two high schools). 

I had a rough time when my daughters got to middle school and high school, because they didn't enjoy school like I did. Actually, they didn't enjoy it very much at all. 

My youngest daughter disliked school the most, and much of why she didn't like school is because she didn't like having to "do school." 

She loves to learn and can tell me a lot about many subjects, but she definitely didn't like the school procedures and rote learning that she was required to do. 

Both daughters talked to me about their teachers and lessons in their classes. They both had a few classes that they enjoyed, and the common denominator in all of the classes is a teacher filled with joy. 

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. 
- Albert Einstein

These weren't the teachers who always made the classes "fun," but they were teachers who were excited about what they were teaching, who celebrated students and enjoyed the company of their students, and made their classrooms inviting.

These teachers loved to learn and loved when their students were learning. They believed in their students more than the students believed in themselves, and they encouraged their students to keep learning, growing, and striving for excellence. 

These teachers not only possessed joy, but they knew how to bring out the joy in the students and through their learning. 

In an article by Nancy Barile, Building a Joyful Classroom: Top 10 Strategies Based on Education in Finland, she shares tips for blending joy and learning in a classroom. 

Here are a few ideas from her article:

  • Know each child. Learn about their lives outside of the classroom. Greet them by name. Build strong relationships.
  • Provide choices that allow students to make connections between content and their personal interests and passions. 
  • Create assignments where students have to prove their learning. Have them to defend their choices and answers and "show their work." 

Previous posts in this series:

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