How to Nurture Empathic Joy in Your Classroom | Greater Good



I’ve been thinking a lot about joy (since before the elections, by the way)—about how hungry I am for pure, unabashed joy in my life, how aware I am that although gratitude comes very easily to me, I’ve been missing joy. Not just moments, but sustained joy. I’m certainly happy with my life. But happy seems different from joyful. Sometimes, I worry that maybe I just don’t remember what joy feels like and let it pass me by without realizing. Being someone so attuned to gratitude, have I associated joy with some kind of extraordinary feeling in my body, and don’t notice that some moments of gratitude and peace are in fact moments of joy? Does joy have to be BIG, BOLD, LOUD, EXTRAORDINARY? Maybe not, but that’s what I’ve been missing: the exuberance of it compared to being happy. I’ve had some health issues that affected my lightness of being, and the current administration’s daily announcements about decisions that go against all the fibers of my being don’t help. So I am thinking about joy, about how to cultivate joy in my life, how not to become a black hole, how to spread the kind of joy I want to feel around me.

Given all that, the reading below is very timely for me. It’s a good reminder that “students perform better when teachers share in their joy” (this, according to a new study, which doesn’t feel new to me — are we surprised?). Maybe it helps some of you, too.

How to Nurture Empathic Joy in Your Classroom | Greater Good