It’s the end of the school year and we’re pretty sure as the bell rang on the last day your students were singing something like this:

Of course it’s not just kids who were excited for summer.  

A few hours (and disassembled bulletin boards later), teachers might have looked something like this:

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We all love summer and everyone needs a good break, but is it possible for students to have the same level of joy during the school year as they do rushing out of the building in June?  Our answer is a resounding YES!  Maybe not the exact same kind of joy (there’s a certain joy that can only come from throwing away the crumbled up papers in your backpack and looking forward to weeks of lazy days in the sun), but joy all the same.

In fact, joy and learning are interconnected.  Learning, when done right, is inherently joyful. The feeling that comes from understanding something new, uncovering some truth, or figuring out a problem can only be described as pure happiness.

Conversely learning happens better when we are joyful.  Our brains are stickier and more flexible when we are experiencing positive emotions.  Making your classroom joyful actually makes it more efficient!  Just as learning and joy are interconnected, so too are joy and efficiency.  Making your classroom more efficient with predictable routines creates a safe environment that is the foundation for the authentic learning that is truly joyful.

So as you reflect this summer, consider how joyful and efficient your classroom was this year.   Then take a break.  Giving your brain some downtown time by the pool may just lead to some amazing ideas about how you can make your classroom more joyful and efficient this summer!