Archive for March, 2016


Throughout our students’ time with us at Joyner, our teachers encourage our students to begin to see the world as a place they are truly a part of. Students are encouraged to see challenges and consider solutions. When they see something that they struggle with, they look for answers. We want our students to move to action. We build lessons throughout the years. Our younger students visit and connect with our older generation neighbors down the street. Students meet with me about ideas to improve school. In so many ways, our students engage in solutions in their world.

When we get to fifth grade, we celebrate this drive to act through the IB Exhibition. Students meet in teams. They have adult mentors. They make a decision on what they want to build deeper knowledge in and then act on. It is always an interesting time of year because I find myself in lots of meetings with students. I listen to proposals, I ask a ton of questions and it is always important that the student leads the movement and action. Sometimes the interviews and questions are hard. But I never am surprised with the passion that our students bring to their projects.

Next Tuesday evening, our students finally will present their ideas. There will be skits, informational bulletins, videos, and more. Students have been cleaning our grounds, organizing read-a-thons, collecting items to donate, educating other classrooms of students and so on. We invite our Joyner community to this Exhibition event to celebrate the 6 years of IB learning at Joyner.

Eyes and Ears

For the past couple of weeks, Ms. Bell, our tech. facilitator, has been setting up our upper grade students with email accounts for the Google classroom. She asks them to try their first email and gives them my email address. At different points through the past week, my email all of a sudden fills with kid emails. And I have taken the time to read and respond to these.

What I have noticed in these communications is what our students pay attention to. They talk with me about what they are learning. They share what they like about their teacher and school. Many students talk about how they enjoy when they see me come in and watch them learning. In reading these emails, I am reminded that our children are always watching and listening to the adults around them. Our children bring such valuable perspective. They have great suggestions. They notice the details we might not.

Keep in mind that our children come to us with open eyes and ears taking in knowledge. The knowledge that the teachers give but also the knowledge that the world offers from moving through it. I have appreciated this reminder from our students to be mindful.

Share a Good Book

I enjoy reading. I have shared my joy of reading with my own children. I just wrapped up a great journey with Henry Huggins (Beverly Cleary) and my son. It is fun to reread the classics and then allow him to introduce me to the newest characters of the book world.

I also enjoy reading for myself. We have built a culture of reading on our staff. I enjoy trading book titles and sharing what I am currently reading. It is never difficult to find someone to talk about their book or listen to me share my thoughts about my book. In our lead secretary’s office, she has built a small lending library. Staff members bring books and trade books. Ms. Ennis will stop for a moment and chat about her current book too with whoever stops by.

This past month, our county again sent out a request for the donation of books. And this year again, the Joyner community has responded with a large giving heart! I KNOW we made our goal of 100 books for the 26 days of the Healthy Choice Marathon. And at last count on Monday, we were almost to 4,000 books that we will give from our community to children in our larger community.

I cannot begin to express the gratitude that I have for the Joyner community in their act of giving. Time and again when the call goes out, the Joyner community responds. We are now organizing how to get nearly 4000 books to the delivery location. But I look forward to bringing that joy forward and sharing the Joyner love.

Thank you for sharing the gift of reading to so many children in our community. It truly is a gift of a lifetime.