In this week’s Vlog I reflect on our textbook (The Gifts of Imperfection by Brenee Brown) reading on how to choose joy over fear as teachers. Fear can overtake me, and it is tough to dial down. It has not taken ahold of me in over a year. It was something that came with my early days of teaching. I did not understand how to deal with some parents, really just one, out of one hundred, who was generally dissatisfied with life. They took joy in composing 10 page emails that destroyed the very fabric of space and time, and everyone involved with their child at the school. It disrupted my sleep and a lot of my mind. I also fear when students are unhappy, or when they are not enjoying their time at school. I fear the things that are outside of my control.

The intentional thinking of how we want to see our circumstances seems like a sound suggestion from our text. I need to realize the goodness that is abounding. I did that this morning by buying bagels and snacks for the fellow teachers near my classroom for the staffroom. It was a generosity that I should allow myself to lead in more often. I think it can help create a source of joy and enjoyment that I would enjoy being on the other side of. It is a bit of the golden rule in action. I can become someone that gives more.

When something brings me down, I can try focusing on something else in life that is good. Calling attention to the goodness can be a better choice of how to invest energy.

To make my classroom a more joyful place, I can continue to share things that make me smile. I love sharing the occasional song or video clip, but I can be more intentional about making this a joyful experience, and allowing students to share in that. This week I rolled out a new task for students to share a song that is very meaningful to their lives. I remember this being a meaningful experience when i was a high school student, and I hope it will bring joy to the students of my classroom.

Joy deserves attention. I should work on that. So many things are good. Why feel down about a simple vulnerability?

For more information please visit