Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

It's the Thought that Counts...

It's March... Getting close to Spring Break... I'm thinking of the two teachers I mentor this year. It's their first year teaching in the district, and they finally look like they are eating right and sleeping (enough??).  However, this time of year, our middle school students and teachers seem to have shorter fuses than normal. Is it the snow? The lack of sunshine? The time kept cooped up inside? It doesn't matter. It happens in February, and keeps going into March, up until Spring Break. I was thinking of these two girls who don't know about this "slump," and might think they'll feel this way for the rest of their careers. Not so, and I wanted them to know that this, too, shall pass.

So I borrowed an idea I saw at a craft show. It's just a decoration for a candy bar. In fact, I bought some  for friends this fall - from Mary Deruz, at That's a Wrap Creations. Mary used thick, good paper, and had her own design on it, along with felt or fleece decorations - Adorable, and great for celebrations or party favors!  I measured her paper, and found it was a square - 5.5 inches squared. Here is a simple one I created on the printer tonight for our two new ELA teachers...
If it's the thought that counts, think of those teachers who may not know that this winter "slump" will, indeed, leave, once we all get a break and time to spend with our family and loved ones.


  1. Joy, what a great idea and thank you so much for being a mentor to those newer teachers. I think that is the most important thing we can do for newbies and, let's face it, each other. Thanks also for your tips on my blog on how to get started with Genius Hour. Our first hour was fabulous!!

    1. Sharon,

      Thank YOU for YOUR response! I think commenting on blogs is a necessity we often skip over, even though we blog ourselves and would love comments. This is the conversation - right here.

      I am SOOO glad your first Genius Hour was fabulous! Keep tweaking, and blog about your successes and difficulties! :-)