I spent a few minutes Tuesday in Ms. Orr’s third grade classroom. They were wrapping up floor time focused on writing and she asked the students if they remembered the Thought of the Week. “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” -Mother Theresa Students whispered to each other and then one student read it aloud to everyone. Ms. Orr questioned the students, what does this mean? Different students reflected and shared. And I sat and reflected as well. One student stated that it is even in small things, we can feel successful. Spot on!

I have found as I continue to learn to navigate the ropes of Joyner, I need to feel good about the small moments. I love when I take my daily opportunity to witness the learning in the building. I also love the moments that come unplanned when a student stops to show me their poster they created for Kindergarten class and they have hand drawn their entire family in that wonderful kindergarten caricature or a fifth grader telling me about a book I MUST read. I LOVE those moments. I sat with a fourth grader as she attempted a math problem. “It’s too hard,” she cried to me. So we focused in that little piece she did know and slowly we made it through. It wasn’t pretty, but she got to the answer. What wonderful small moments that make my day!

On Friday, our staff went BIG for the early release professional development. We were exploring what the new Common Core curriculum means to our instruction. We explored downtown Raleigh through the lens of creating rigorous real world experiences. And what we found as we designed ideas was that we did our best thinking when we focused in on the little things. Staff members found details (oak leaf designs) on the streets that helped draw meaning of Raleigh. One of our Spanish teachers talked about sitting with her eyes closed and tuning on the the small things she heard to help her build a better sense of where she was. Quotes on monuments were read with more intent. Visual cues and connections were everywhere. And through paying attention to the small details, we began building a better understanding of what links us to our learning and what we can do to link our students.

As we continue in our journey of learning at Joyner, we look for those small moments that we gain our strength in. As a parent, I know I try to slow down and realize when my own child has that small moment of success. I want to be sure I am acknowledging it and celebrating with them. Because truly, our small ones (our children) are our greatest strength at Joyner!