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Joy in (and out) of The Classroom

Written by Maggie Marley
March 17, 2021

There are many things that bring me joy in the classroom…seeing kids grow in confidence, watching them act kind toward each other, watching them work hard through challenges, and feel proud of it…these are things I get to see even in such a strange year. But lately I’ve been hanging on tightly to any moments I get to just have fun and play with my students. We’re in a hybrid model currently – which I am so grateful for – so we see groups of students twice a week. That means there’s a LOT of content to squish into two days, and that means some things have to go. Unfortunately, the things that make the most sense to leave behind are art projects, free choice, math games, extra recesses, STEM challenges – all of the “extra” that we used to have time for.
The other day I went out to recess (it was sunny and gorgeous and I couldn’t help it) and shot hoops, played some gaga ball, and some noodle tag with my students. I was exhausted, and probably huffed and puffed through the whole afternoon, but I realized I hadn’t LAUGHED that hard and had the chance to just PLAY with my students yet this year. The rest of the day was just better. We were more connected. The kids kept talking about how fun it was to play at recess with Mrs. Marley.

I’ve done it several more times since, and I’m going to keep making time for it. It brings me great joy. I think it brings them some joy, too.