Monday, March 11, 2013

Irrigate Deserts & Teach with JOY

"The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts."
— C.S. Lewis

When I chose my word for this year, this quote from C.S. Lewis played an important role in the process. My word is IRRIGATE. At the beginning of January I also made a list of things that I want to try this year. One of those is:

  • to teach with joy
This post is really a reminder to myself to keep JOY in the front burner every day! It is so easy to lose joy when things don't go my way. It might be a computer that is not working fast enough, or copier that has jammed just before I need to make my copies, or a student who is in a bad mood and transfers that mood to me. 
So how do I keep teaching with JOY?
This is what I am thinking for this week:
  • get up early enough to be ready for the day (so many others have blogged about this)
  • get ready on time both in the evening and in the morning (sleep deprivation does not translate into JOY)
  • smile more; it really is contagious
  • eat well (sluggishness does not translate into JOY either) 
  • greet my students with smile; respond to their questions and comments with a smile
I promise to teach with JOY and to irrigate those dry deserts in my classroom and school this week.

What plans do you have to make this a great week?


  1. Your post absolutely fills me with JOY and PEACE this morning. I am trying to "not sweat the small stuff" in school - and enjoy the "important stuff!" I love the quote and just added it to my quote book!

  2. Joy is my word of the year. I wanted to find the joy in all the small things.
    This being March Break, I am just enjoying the time to be in the moment - a must for joy seekers. All the best to a joy-filled year!

  3. Celebrate is my word for this year. Your post has allowed me to refocus on my word. Finding joy and celebration in all things great and small. Thank you.

  4. I love the C.S Lewis quote...was not familiar with this one. Irrigate...inspirational choice of your word for the year. Great list of how you are keeping joy on the front burner.

  5. Love how you are revisiting your word and making plans to incorporate it into your week. Joy for me this week would mean two things: 1) responding my teenager pleasantly even when he is surly (most of the time!) 2) working hard to keep a positive attitude at work during state testing this week and next. OK, I will work on it. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. I might have to copy your ideas for keeping joy. The sleep thing is a big one! I also completely agree that smiling is contagious. Happy people attract happy people...Thanks for all of the reminders.

    1. I am thinking that I too need to start a list. Then on days when life gets hard, I can get inspired by the list!

  7. What a great way to keep your OWL alive and well and helping you to be a better person, a better teacher. Bravo!

  8. What a lovely quote and word! Yours is right along the same lines as mine! Greeting every student with a smile and their name is something I'm trying to work on, as well as finding ways to create joy in lessons.

  9. A good reminder to see how my OLW is helping me. Smiles make a difference. I have to remind myself to breathe and smile this week. the beginning of the week is a bit stressful. From Thursday to Sunday I will be in Prague at a conference. Inspiration is waiting. Just have to make sure to get enough sleep.

  10. Smiling is much easier when I have a few quiet minutes in the morning before the kiddos come in AND have enough protein (and Diet Coke :) for lunch. Teaching with joy is a great motto.


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