Walk into a school and you can feel it immediately. You can feel if the students love being there, if they enjoy what they are learning, if they feel a sense of belonging, trust, and excitement.
Where does that culture come from?
In a word: us.
Call it the trickle down joy effect. If adults are happy, love what they are doing, feel a strong sense of community, pride, and trust, that energy will be passed down to the students. If they don’t, students will feel that too.
Of course there are other factors in creating a joyful learning environment, but the adult culture is one of the most important. And that idea is backed up by some pretty sound research. For example in Barth’s 2006 Educational Leadership article entitled Improving Relationships Within the School, he writes:
The nature of relationships among the adults within a school has a greater influence on
the character and quality of that school and on student accomplishment than anything
Joy creates joy…so if you want kids to love school, start by figuring out how we can help the adults love their work, their colleagues, and…very importantly…laugh a little! 🙂 Everyone loves a good laugh…