How do you experience joy in your role as an educator? How would you honestly answer this question if someone were to ask? Perhaps this is something that you haven’t taken the time to think about. It is a very personal question that everyone should consider. It’s been my experience that while we may find moments of joy, it can be difficult to sustain it through challenges. Understanding that joy is not the absence of challenges is the first step to embracing the power of joy in our roles as educators.
The idea of choosing joy is not as easy as it sounds on t-shirts and coffee mugs. In fact, it takes work and a mindset shift. I use the term “joy work.” A significant part of that work is breaking down barriers from within that impede our joy, namely the reliance on outside circumstances. When I intentionally began my joy work a few years ago I realized that each time my joy began to wane, I found a way to blame it on everyone and everything. Learning to take responsibility for my own joy each and everyday has changed my life. It’s given me a renewed perspective both personally and professionally.
I encourage you to take time to reflect on how you both experience and exemplify joy in your current role as an educator. Next, share with others. Never underestimate how sharing your personal joy work can have a positive impact on others especially during these continued times of uncertainty. I am always looking to highlight educators who want to share their joy work and you can find out more about this opportunity on my site joyworkedu.com.
Bio: Dr. Joy is an educational leader and author who believes in the power of joy to transform schools. She has had the pleasure and honor of serving in many capacities over the past 20 years including classroom teacher, professional learning leader, and school administrator. She is the owner of Joy Work EDU. You can follow her work on her site joyworkedu.com.