Celebrating the Challenges

Celebrating the Challenges

How do you celebrate in the midst of challenges? When we are knee deep in a difficult challenge, it can almost seem unbearable, as if there is no way out. We might think to ourselves, “Can I just cruise along for once in my life?” The answer to that is yes, but learning to overcome challenges fosters a growth mindset, brings meaning to any situation and can be life transforming.

Nurturing Relationships: Teaching Kindness

Nurturing Relationships: Teaching Kindness

I love the saying, “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.”  People who are kind can be perceived as weak and naive. However, showing kindness is a sign of strength, and there are numerous reasons for teaching kindness in school.  The physical, emotional and mental benefits can transform a classroom.  Lisa Currie (2014) summarized a few key outcomes associated with teaching kindness  including decreased bullying and increased peer acceptance.   I came across this site, 12 Kinds of Kindness, and thought it would be a great model for  defining examples of and practicing  kindness. It takes practice you know….

Nurturing Relationships: The Power of Words

Nurturing Relationships: The Power of Words

I mentioned before that I am from a big, Brooklyn family. I have six siblings (love them all to pieces).  When I was young we didn’t have a car.  We had to walk with my mom to the grocery store. Yes, my mother would take seven children into a grocery store.  She would calmly push the cart up and down each aisle, scratching items off her list as we gathered what was needed.  When it was time, she would walk us to the checkout line where we knew to place…

I See You: The Power of Affirmation

I See You: The Power of Affirmation

My husband Eric is the inspiration behind this post.  He said something to me that I knew I had to share with everyone. I’d be selfish if I didn’t. Recently, he made an area of our home into an office. I wanted a place just for Dr. Joy.  When we talked about it I wasn’t sure what it would look like because we had limited space.  The outcome was absolutely gorgeous.  He framed my academic degrees, a few special photos of the children and one photo of a much younger version of the two of us. He hung them on a solid black wall. When he was finished, he brought me to that…

Whats You’re Take on Misteaks?

Whats You’re Take on Misteaks?

We all have one of those memorable mistakes.  When I was 16, I worked at a sporting goods store.  I loved it!  I worked with a group of fun woman and we wore cute referee uniforms.  One evening, we were yapping away and looking busy at the register when a young charming man walked in requesting change for his 50 dollar bill. He was friendly, complimented us on our uniforms, and even told us about some of the parties that were going on that evening. I don’t remember exactly what…

The Buddy System: It’s Not Just for Field Trips

The Buddy System: It’s Not Just for Field Trips

My first year of teaching was fun and overwhelming.  I had a very challenging group of 25 first graders (at least I thought they were).  At the end of each quarter, I was required to submit a reading and writing portfolio for each student. Near the end of the first quarter, my deadline was fast approaching and my student portfolios were an unorganized mess. I was doing the work, but just hadn’t figured out a good “organize as you go” type of system.  The evening before my portfolios were due,…

Looking Back: Positive Interactions Make a Difference

Looking Back: Positive Interactions Make a Difference

Writing this blog gives me an opportunity to reflect on some of my relationships with teachers. Today, I went all the way back to my kindergarten teacher at P.S. 95 in Brooklyn, NY. She embraced my wild imagination when I rambled every Monday morning about weekend trips around the globe and back.  Fast forward to my 11th grade World History teacher, who with a note on the back of my graded quiz, encouraged me to find the balance between my boyfriend and school. Next, my undergraduate college professor used his resources…