This morning I had the joy of visiting Ms. Arch’s 5th grade classroom. Initially when I first walked in, I noticed everyone deep in a book with notebooks along side of them. Students were making notes and visibly looked like they were digging into their books. Ms. Arch was moving around the room talking individually with students. She engaged them in a variety of conversations, check-ins, follow-up on conversations with parents, questions of understanding. Eventually she began to work with all students as they read and discussed together their shared text. I was drawn in by the beautiful way that Ms. Arch wove personal stories of the students into understanding the non-fiction historical account they were reading. There was laughter. Students commented to the group. Others would ask wondering questions. Ms. Arch would hold off on answering, allowing others to step up and try. What an engaging level of work happening in fifth grade today! As I left, I just felt that not only were students having fun learning but Ms. Arch seemed to be enjoying it just as much. I love to feel that school family in classrooms and see how learning is impacted so positively.

I then reflected on the opportunity I recently have had in reviewing our new website before it went live. As Ms. Bell and I worked together to talk about how we wanted to share our faculty with the internet world, we both immediately wanted to make sure we capture the spirit of the staff. And so we asked for teachers to share a little about themselves, why they teach or why Joyner. I have to admit, I felt overwhelmed with emotion as I felt the energy of our teachers in the writing they submitted for the website. Over and over again, they spoke of the school family community at Joyner.

There is a feel at Joyner. Our families and children bring it and mix it with the staff. And all together we make something special happen everyday. We learn and grow and we are building community in it all.