This week Will Parker is joined by Jen Schwanke to talk about returning the joy to teaching in learning and leading. As the year winds down, teachers and school leaders are getting tired and working hard. It is important for school leaders to encourage themselves and their teachers to look for the joy in the middle of all this hard work. Will and Jen discuss Jen’s recent article with Dr. Tracy Deagle “Can We Still Find Joy in Teaching?” that offers helpful suggestions on what we should hold on to when it comes to the joy of teaching in school leaders and teachers.
Jen and Tracy offer five suggestions of ways to find joy in teaching and leading:
- I Get To, Not I Have To
- “I get to lead this district”, “I get to have this conversation with teachers”, etc.
- Feeling lucky to have the skills and the team and the background to do good work.
- Taking time to feel
- Spending too much time suffering through the difficult times really takes away from our ability to feel joy.
- Slowing down and acknowledging your feelings to fully experience what you’re going through.
- Joy is a place, not a transaction
- Joy should not be an if/then statement; find and relish it on your own.
- Celebrating the joy in others
- “What brings you joy in your work?” or “How can you find it?”
- Joy can help us overcome the things that may burn us out.
- Find a joy partner
- Checking in with each other to make sure that your joy partner isn’t struggling or in a dark place mentally.
Now It’s Your Turn:
What are some ways that you find the joy in teaching, learning, and leading? What suggestions would you add to the article written by Jen Schwanke and Dr. Tracy Deagle?