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I felt the joy when the staff at my school created a human tunnel for students to walk through as they were leaving on the last day of school. (Read more about that experience here.) I believe this moment reflects the essence of Shareski's book, and I'm asking myself how can my school replicate more joyful moments like that in the future? How about in my own classroom? How can we embrace a culture of joy?
William Ferriter, in the foreword, says, "Can I ask you a tough question? How many students in your classrooms are fully satisfied with the learning spaces you have created for them? If your students reflect the national average, the answer is bound to be discouraging." The numbers he goes on to share are quite discouraging. We can do better.
I'd love to share my favorite quotes from this book, and there are many, but I'd rather let you discover them yourself. So go buy the book. It won't consume your summer. In fact, you could read it in a day if you wanted to. Even though it's short, it's powerful and will most likely challenge you to consider how you are embracing a culture of joy in your classroom and in your school. According to Shareski, "Real learning always includes joy."