Being on maternity leave this academic year, I’ve been incredibly lucky to experience a lot of new found joy welcoming twin girls into the world. Life always gives us joy, because inevitably it gives us hope.
Never losing sight of hope will lead us to joyous times ahead. Never before has this been more important for us to hold onto as parents, leaders and neighbours battling this pandemic.
As a secondary school leader, I know only too well the importance of radiating joy to make school more fun, to inspire others and to make children believe the future is a bright place.
When faced with uncertainty, it’s vital we support each other and find examples of people spreading joy. Take for example the man who inspired the clapping for the NHS workers. This is leading to a joyous moment from our windows and driveways with our neighbours. Moments we’ve never shared before. Or think of the leaders of Western Primary School in Grimsby, delivering food parcels to the school community every day. This is giving all the children and families joy during these difficult times. What inspiring people they are and there are many more all over the world.
As leaders we have the power to cascade joy every day. Take a moment to think and I bet you’ll be surprised how much joy you’ve given to others. Whether it be through a kind word, a phone call or post on social media, spreading joy is a key role for us all at the moment and I urge you all to do this daily, because you are masters at it as teachers!
For parents all over, finding joy and holding onto it is even more important now than it’s been for a long time. Take today as an example, in our household we have had a very joyous moment as our youngest daughter has learnt to roll over completely unaided! Joy often leaves us filled with hope and so the importance of sharing joyful times will help others.
But for so many joy isn’t a word associated with recent times. People have fear, loss and worry. The only way some will ever be joyous again is by holding them in our thoughts during these times and reaching out to spread moments of joy through kindness.
Isolation certainly makes us look for joy starting at home, which can only be a good thing. What skills have your children learnt through home schooling? I bet some joyous moments have been shared, like learning to ride a bike or learning about how to show empathy to others.
As teachers we need to find out about these joyous moments that can be celebrated when we return to school. Which children in our schools helped spread joy at home? Which children showed strength, resilience and therefore spread hope. They will be the leaders of the future. Demonstrating the ability to inspire others during hard times is truly remarkable. There will be many, let’s find them, celebrate them and lead in the most ethical way to praise these children.
As leaders let’s aim to lead more joyous school communities so that those around us feel positive about the future.