EduCon 2.3 - January 2011
Share the Joy

We know that student enjoyment of school leads to better student learning. Through conversation and sharing of experiences, environments and communities of learning we will uncover the strategies and dispositions of teaching and learning that make school enjoyable and meaningful for all. Attitudes, mindsets, dispositions, strategies used for creating experiences, environments and communities for enjoyable learning will be shared and captured.

What kills joy in school?

Home environments, the baggage that kids
bring to school from their life outside the
school. The reality of life impedes the
students ability to learn. The assumption
or lack of awareness by administrators of
this reality.
Funding cuts or reappropriation of funds
to other areas. The result is that
technology gets distributed inequitably.
The decisions makers are too far removed
from the reality of the environment that their
decisions do not support learning in the
When technology decisions are made
without answering the question "Why" and
big rollouts are made without talking to
shareholders in the process. Top down
dissemination of technology (hardware and
software) without appropriate PD, funding,
A physical environment that supports the natural
learning process. Space consideration that
provides a place that isn't sterile.
When the model removes that relationship
connection that is critical to the learning
process and moves toward an "output"
model that eschews the relationship
reality of the social nature of learning.
Especially the fact that this move seems
to be infecting all levels of the K - 20
When there is a disconnect in communication.
When administration tells you to "know your
kids" and what they mean is, know their
test scores, know if they are behind in classes,
know if they are a trouble maker . . . as opposed
to knowing them personally.

What did you, as a student, enjoy about school/learning?

"I went to school because I got to be with
my friends." "I can't recall any one teacher
that I sought out to learn more from."
Memories related to affective/relational
aspects of the school experience.
Teachers that listened to and observed the
things we were doing a a student. They
found out what we were doing outside of
school and those things would be the basis
of what we learned in the classroom - they
used our interests to design the learning
opportunities in the classroom.
The way the teacher made you feel.
When the teacher found out your
interests and took personal interest in
you as a person.
When a teacher knew me before I knew him.
It showed an interest by the school at large
for me as a person and student. (SLA

When a teacher reached out to me to help
my nephew, who was in her class, made me
realize that we were a community. (SLA
I had a teacher I liked because he "cursed
in class" . . . He saw what we were interested in
and what we were reading outside of class and
differentiated the work so that it matched our
interest. He took the time to make it personal.

What did you do to make your job or the students expeience

in school enjoyable?

"I was able to suck it up and allow the student
to do what they want on occasion."
Putting our bias aside in favor of the students
opportunity to learn. Deferring a students
learning proclivities.
Question: In teacher PD, do we take the time
to bother to find out where the teachers are,
where they are coming from, what their
interest/needs are? Or do we just process
them through and check it off the list?
Reflecting on the feedback you get from students,
especially when they come back and share a
moment that made a difference in their lives. "Kids
remember moments, not days." - @courosa
Using these experience to frame and inform what
we are currently doing.
Being thoughtful/purposeful about our practice.
Being focused on the act of creation and creating
an environment where that happens. "I don't feel
positive about the day, if when it ends I realize I
haven't created something."
Be intentional about a love for the art of
teaching. If you aren't passionate about the
act of learning get out of the profession. "It's
not about me. It's about the students." - always
remind yourself of that reality.
Finding original/uncommon ways to facilitate the
act of learning for students. "Find a way."

Realities of Mr. Chase and Ms. Laufenberg classrooms that are

"jaw dropping."

When you go to class you get a hug. Attention
to the human need for a real personal
connection. Students choose to be part of the
act, they are empowered to be responsible
choice makers.
There are things in the room for the students to just
play with. Zach sometimes gives a AD/HD student a
stick of gum. The focus is on providing the most
comfortable space for learning to happen, to make
the space enjoyable for the students.

What have we eliminated that we want to bring back?

Reading aloud as a teacher. Letting kids have the a
chance to read aloud. Creating a real reading space
and experience.
Anything hands on.
When they get a chance to work together, to
collaborate and share and be public with
their learning and their ideas. Speaking outloud
gives you a chance to assess your own
thoughts. (SLA student)
Giving kids a chance to share their creation.
Letting kids organically create.
Paying attention to the entire kid . . . even the
spiritual nature of their humanness. Helping them
find peace with who they are.
Paying attention to the physical space and how it
effects the act of learning.
Show them the real thing as opposed to the abstract.

Share the Joy

Have a story or experience that you want to share? We need to share more of the joy and less of the frustrations, lest we pass that on to our children.Write about the joy, write about what works, write about what you do to spread the joy. Encourage the people around you to talk about the good things, take control of the faculty room discussions and frame them, guide them to the positive, the good that is happening, what is being created.

Share more joyful learning practices online using the tags #EduConText #EduCon #ShareTheJoy