I was recently working with middle school educators and asked them about the biggest challenges they are facing. Without skipping a beat, they said dealing with discipline issues, students who at times just don’t seem to care, and their own lack of motivation.

This made me think about the struggles of maintaining a positive school culture, how students often do not get what they need, and how exhausted these educators must be. Whether we are talking about life in general or education specifically, it’s very difficult to adjust, see different perspectives, and find joy when you are in the thick of it.

But, it’s not impossible.

Understanding joy

Joy is an interesting emotion.  In her recent book, Atlas of the Heart, Brené Brown defines joy as “an intense feeling of deep spiritual connection, pleasure, and appreciation.” This is different from happiness, which Brown defines as “feeling pleasure often related to the immediate environment or current circumstances.”

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Source: https://www.eschoolnews.com/sel/2023/05/02/5-ways-to-help-educators-experience-more-joy/