Remembering the JOY of the Season

November 30, 2016

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When my students transition from one activity to another in the school day, I normally run around preparing for our next lesson or help a student with something. In those quick two minute breaks, I so often am distracted by making sure directions are written on the board or ensuring the next lesson will go smoothly, I often forget to listen to the kids in those “passing periods”. I am so intent on making sure my teaching is perfect I don’t see.

Yesterday, instead of worrying about how the lesson was going to go or thinking back on things I should have done to better prepare, I stood and watched. I listened to their conversations and saw the pure and utter JOY on their faces. In that moment, each child was happily talking to a friend about something we had just learned, or about their Thanksgiving adventures. They were smiling and laughing. They were joyful and content.

If you are a teacher you know just how often things don’t always go the right way in the classroom. You know there may not be enough time to get an entire lesson in or maybe you’ll have to go back and re-teach something. It’s all a part of the teaching process, something which requires a great deal of patience, but is definitely rewarding in the end.

So often is this scene typical in life. The scene where we’re running around worried about minute little details we often forget about stopping and seeing what is going on around us. Maybe our phone is in our face, our ear buds in to block out the outside noise, or even we’re so focused on work and commitments we forget to slow down and appreciate the moments for what they are.

How simple to stop and slow down, talk to others, share a laugh and a smile?

Teaching has brought me so much Joy this year. I have loved being able to teach students about new topics, help them to grow in their knowledge of various subjects, and be a positive force for so many lives. Teaching has taught me a great deal about life. It’s taught me how to slow down and take time to make sure each mind understands what is going on. It has taught me how to smile even when things are difficult. And most certainly, it has taught me to recognize Joy in the smallest moments.

Kids all too often have a way of showing us how truly wonderful life is. They have so much JOY and life inside of them. They have a way of seeing the good in the world, asking the best eye-opening questions, and appreciating what is going on around them.

In this Christmas Season, a time of joy and celebration, my greatest wish for you is that you take the time to slow down and appreciate the small moments. Share a laugh. Tell a story. Take a moment to recognize the good around you. Stay intentional with your time. And above all, find Joy in doing something. Those emails and to-do lists can wait, however, this moment, cannot.

This marks the first in LemonadePress’s Series, Seasons of Joy, where various guest writers will be sharing what Joy means to them and what that has looked like throughout the year! I’m thrilled to be sharing these stories with you in the time leading up to Christmas! I hope you can stick around and read a post or two, and that maybe these words will encourage you to recognize the Joy in your life as well.

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PS-If you are interested in submitting a short clip on Joy, feel free to contact me at caitlinlemonadepressblog@gmail.com!

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