It is the start of Term 4. I awake with a list of a thousand things to do running through my head. Term 4 is my favourite term and in some ways the hardest. Creative arts festival is coming up; I am launching the school production; working on another big social justice project; and going about the day to day jobs of a teacher including reports, end of year exams, year book reports, registers, marking etc. AND I have even mentioned teaching yet. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and automatically start counting down the days until Christmas, but I am determined not to. So I decide to do what I know best – Give thanks and be present in the moment.
Gratitude came tearing into my life a few years back. You can watch the full story here. Every since it has been part of my daily practice, sometimes formally, sometimes informally, but always present. So on Tuesday morning when I woke up to start Term 4, I made a decision to document forty pieces of joy a week for the entire term, giving thanks for the small things in order to keep me grounded and happy in all the craziness. So far it is working.
Below are my forty joys from this week. It was a great week to start! I would love to hear some of yours, so please feel free to share in the comments below. Maybe you would like to join me in this project?
Forty Pieces Of Teaching Joy – Week 1
1. Marking students work and I read the words “Shakespeare has never been so fun.”
2. A student placed a photo of Kit Harington in her work because she thought I might like it.
3. Rehearsals today. Kids became hysterical with laughter. We got little done, but made an absolute load of joy.
4. Two students in my film group making the finals of the local film festival. (Read on to find out more!)
5. My erasable pen.
6. One of my year 9’s taught me a new word – malaprops. How did I not know this?
7. Lesson reflection of one of my students, “THIS IS LITERALLY THE BEST LESSON I HAVE EVER HAD IN ANY CLASS EVER!” I’ll take that.
8. Year 11’s being so excited about their new projects they celebrate with happy dances.
9. Two students editing a film for me despite their current workload AND doing it with a smile.
10. Kind words from a colleague.
11. Staff prayer which just so happened to be on gratitude… my favourite topic.
12. Obtaining the performance rights to the first school production at my new school (and finding out they are heaps cheaper then I first thought!).
13. Finished a special project with a colleague I truly love spending time with.
14. Bouncing on the PE trampoline… long story.
15. The colleague that carried the PE trampoline all the way up five flights of stairs to my classroom.
16. Finally making that connection about that kid that doesn’t connect.
17. The names on the sign up list for the school production.
18. Another group of reports entered and submitted.
19. Learning to sign (in Auslan) with my year 10’s.
20. A hug from a student who has moved schools but popped back to visit.
21. Smashing my to-do list.
22. The name of the kid that didn’t think she was good enough to audition finally added to the sign-up list.
23. A coordinator that trusts and supports me in all that I do and is willing to speak up when need be.
24. Discussion about the new series ‘The Principal’ while hanging out in the photocopy room.
25. Two students cheering and high-fiving when they realised they got full marks on an assessment.
26. The feeling of the sun on my shoulders as I cross the playground.
27. Great ideas from the commerce teacher about a little joint adventure.
28. My students pretending to be balloons and float around my classroom.
29. The beautiful smile of our school receptionist.
30. Finding that lost piece of paper that I thought was gone forever. Phew!
31. I managed to write a dancing hot dog into a play I am working on.
32. Laughter in my classroom at lunch.
33. Students entering into deep conversation about things that matter.
34. A cancelled rehearsal at recess that allowed me to catch my breath for a moment.
35. The cupcake with sprinkles from the cupcake stall.
36. Brainstorming super creative ideas with my year 10’s.
37. The words, “I am glad we always have drama last period on a Friday.”
38. Friday afternoon “Rock For A Cause” with the neighbouring boys high school. It rocked!
39. The smile on my students faces when they won Best Documentary at a local film festival. J
40. Coming home late on a Friday evening after a full day at work to a quiet house with only the echoes of my smallest child’s snores vibrating through the air.