A teacher’s joy is the oxygen of a classroom’s atmosphere.  I’ve found that when joy is alive in me, the classroom is alive.  Joy energizes positive interactions with my students, whereas joylessness brings my troll-like qualities to the fore.  My porcupine quills bristle too quickly at the noise-makers, the grumblers, and the slouchers.  But in the presence of joy the quills relax, allowing me to address the problems in the room in a way that maintains an atmosphere of good will.

So how can I cultivate and maintain a joyful spirit?

Joy comes when I know that my life is completely in God’s care.  My time, my workload, my relationships, my health, and my everything else are in the care of the Heavenly Father.

Joy comes when I release the need to rank.  Humility opens up reservoirs in my spirit for joy to fill.

Joy comes when I realize that I am the daily recipient of extravagant generosity.  “Thank you!” is such a beautiful expression.   Feeling those two words often and freely expressing them fosters a healthy environment for joy.

Joy comes when I work for something bigger than myself.  Jesus offers me joy in His invitation to seek His kingdom and be a part of its beautiful work.

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