We've just finished up our first full week of the 2023-2024 school year, and we're definitely feeling it! The temperatures have been extreme, which means there's no outside recess. What I've figured out this week, however, is that the sweltering temperatures affect more than just recess -- they affect everything!
It's easy to get bogged down in the heat of things - literally. The extreme temperatures don't necessarily bring out the best in us, or our students. We're hot, we're sweaty, we're tired. Not a great trio when you're dealing with education.
Regardless of the grumpiness, the tiredness, the downright already tired of this whole back to school thing - ness, I choose JOY!
When one of my sweet kindergarteners hopped out of his vehicle this morning NOT teary eyed for the first time this week - I felt JOY in my heart!
When one of my brand new first graders came walking up to me with a new hairdo and a HUGE smile - I felt JOY in my soul!
When one of my fifth grade boys came to school holding his head perfectly still and intended to stay that way until his picture time - I felt JOY deep down inside! (Fortunately, his class was the first in line for pictures, so he didn't have to hold his head still too long!)
When I walked into the gym where my seventh graders were preparing for PE and heard, "Hey Ms. Monaghan!" - I felt JOY in my mind!
Father Matthew reminded our students this week, that it really isn't that hard to find JOY if you just start looking for it. The nice thing is that it doesn't cost any money, it doesn't exist only on vacation, and it doesn't require anything else to find. Joy is found in the simple things that make you smile, the little things that make your whole body relax.
I hope you will find something that brings you JOY this weekend, and whatever it is - I hope you get to spend a little extra time seeing it, doing it, or experiencing it!