Teaching is a combination of the science and the art of the preparation and delivery.

When I’ve asked kids what makes a “super teacher” in their eyes, they typically identify teachers who really LIKE them.

They don’t call it rapport, but that’s exactly what it is.

This is what I see in their classrooms:

  • They add bits and pieces of joy regularly.  Like they’re really liberal with their use of it.  The pencil sharpening is “fun” because it’s done with purpose.
  • Teach with enthusiasm.  Like they’re REALLY happy to teach things like, ugh, GRAMMAR and, eek, SPELLING.
  • Connect with students.  Like they really like their kids.  They actually talk with them – not in a “listen so that this story can be over quickly dismissive kind of way”.

I know that you have so much to do in a day – the pressures are high – the administration is riding you that the scores are never high enough.

But in spite of all of that, I have a question that I really want you to take time to think about.  Like really, really think about: if someone were sitting in the balcony of your classroom and watching your performance, what would they see? 

Joy is contagious and a great motivator for the teacher and students!  Oh, and it has reaches far beyond just being “happy” at school…it is a BIG part of increasing those scores.

I’ve given you a list of the types of things that I see and hear in joyful classrooms.  Adopt some of these as your own…

  • “Tristan, let’s have your group share with us now…”
  • “Stephen, remember when you told us about XYZ last week? This is like that…”
  • “Good job guys! Excellent work.”
  • “Yes! We got it right!”
  • “I knew you could do it…”
  • “Let’s watch Tabitha as she shows us…”
  • “You are excellent!”
  • ”I know you’re working hard…”
  • “You’re tired, but you can do this!”
  • “Let’s not let this work get the best of us…”
  • “Thank you so much for your hard work…”
  • “I am so excited to see you…”
  • “Let’s try it this way and see if we get better results…”
  • “Turn to your partner and tell them ‘you’re great!’”

I know there are many of our readers who have perfected the art of a joyful classroom.  Visit our Facebook page right now and share your “joy tricks”.  I want to learn from YOU!