How teachers find joy—for themselves

By Kelly Griego

Teachers strive to bring joy into their classrooms. That’s easiest, of course, when they’ve got reserves to share. Here’s what teachers told us about how they bring joy into their own lives.

Reflection and rest

A literacy specialist: “As a book lover, I have found that the best way to find joy in my personal life is to cozy up with a good book. With the goal of spreading the joy of reading to my students, I try to create spaces (both physically and time-wise) to just enjoy reading—comfy reading spots, choice texts, and even creative or silly prompts (read in your socks! read in the dark! read with a buddy! make book suggestions! with a special snack!).”

An assistant principal: “I plan for mindless getaways to to nurture my soul. Since most of my days go from 6:30 AM to 4:30 PM to those breaks help me reboot for my students.”

A special education teacher: “At my school, I greatly appreciate our mental health team. They stress the importance of really putting aside work and finding the joy for yourself so we can then be in the right space to encourage our students to do the same.”

Personal growth

A special education teacher: “I try to take a new class or try a new activity whenever I get the opportunity. This way I can talk to my students not just about what I am interested or passionate in, but also share experiences where I tried something new and how that went for me. My students love having me show them the new dance I learned in my dance class, or hearing about how I tried—and failed at—a cooking class.”

Positivity and gratitude

A literacy specialist: “I believe that I need happiness in order to bring joy into my classroom. Even in my most challenging moments I remember to find my ‘happy’…I have to surround myself with positivity at home and work to be the pleasant teacher that I am.”

A reading specialist: “I tend to my own joy outside of the classroom by continuing to do things that I am passionate about, which are often things that include service. I try to bring any aspect of mindfulness from that back into the classroom by providing the concept of showing gratitude and finding opportunities to engage in gratitude daily with my students. Sharing these moments with my students help them feel connected to me. It's a win-win situation for us all!”

How do you tend to your own joy outside of school so that you can bring it with you to school? Tweet us at @Amplify using #AmplifyJoy.

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