Simple Ways to Help People Feel Seen

One of the core principles discussed in Joy Starts Here is that of helping people see themselves as Immanuel sees them. I’m a public school teacher, and this is not usually the kind of language we use in our setting. Instead, I find creative ways to help students see themselves through the eyes of God. […]

Teachers: Create a Classroom Where Students Feel Like they Belong

Based on Richard Sagor’s article Lessons From Skateboarders, students generated Thinking Maps about how they can experience Competency, Belonging, Usefulness, Potency, and Optimism (CBUPO) inside our classroom. Sagor asked, “What encourages humans to invest in difficult undertakings?” He discovered that everyone needs CBUPO in order to be motivated to do what’s hard. School is hard, so both students and […]

Transform Your Classroom by Creating Belonging

I teach 216 students each day! I know! It’s virtually an impossible task! The public school system is just set up this way, and it has never made any sense to me. As a result, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and never learn all those kiddos’ names. In order to create any sense of real BELONGING in […]

How to Get Joy Started in the Classroom

Many teachers begin the first day of school by presenting their syllabus and classroom rules. I start with JOY! This year I brought in 6 rolls of toilet paper, one roll for each table group. My instructions were simple:  take as much as you need. Fortunately, my students had not encountered this particular “ice breaker” […]