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, November 18, 2018


I've written about gratitude before...

For this Thanksgiving, I was encouraged by Faige Miller's latest post to write about my own classroom gratitude.

On a daily basis, I could be grateful for these things (and more)...

  • arriving at school safely
  • "Good morning" heard from teachers I pass in the hallway
  • hearing my colleagues come down the hall
  • a working printer and copy machine (cough, cough) đŸ˜‰
  • plans ready for the day
  • a question of the day written by a prior student
  • a song to start our morning in homeroom
  • hearing students come in and open lockers
  • greeting students at the door
  • meeting my co-homeroom teacher in the morning
  • students sharing their celebrations from the day prior
  • hearing students respond, "You too!" after you wish them a good day.
  • smiles from students
  • high fives
  • students dancing
  • students supporting each other as they put their magnet on our "mood meter"
  • students who have been absent showing up
  • one student's cough has dissipated
  • a joke shared
  • books remembered
  • paper out or Chromebooks open when it's time to write
  • clean clothes on a student who struggles at home
  • students sharing their materials
  • that student finally found a book she wants to keep reading
  • an encouraging note from a parent
  • an encouraging smile from a student
  • being called "Mom"
  • a student picking up a book I shared with the class
  • hearing, "Can I keep writing?" or "Can we keep reading?"
  • quiet time reading books of our choosing
  • hearing a student say he "used the feedback" I provided
  • hearing, "Thank you" as a student leaves the room
  • time to plan / share ideas with my ELA co-worker / friend
  • getting support from colleagues
  • attending a game / meet / show one of my students is in
  • arriving home safely

From an email from my sister-in-law... Check out

If I do not stop and soak in all these things for which I'm grateful for every day, the other little things that make teachers worn out mentally and physically may accumulate and overwhelm me. Not just at Thanksgiving time - every day - we could use gratitude to help us stay healthy, happy, and ready to give our best every day for our students.

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