In her closing speech at a the Reading Institute last month, Calkins shared some interesting pointers on holding tight to happiness in our profession.
1. Have Mentors in Happiness
We need to learn for each other. Find others who can be points of light – who know things that we ourselves need to learn – and observe and talk with these ones to draw on their talents, knowledge and expertise.
2. Student Work
This is where the rubber meets the road. Student work needs to be central to the conversations that go on within schools. It should almost be a MUST that inside of curriculum conversations or conversations around student or teacher learning that there is an artifact that stands in the center of the conversation. Find JOY inside of the stories of children – it is there – as a teacher we need to find those gems and hold them up for all to see.
3. Bring the Spirit of the Institute into the Fabric of the School
Our professional learning can be a deep, meaningful life-altering incredible driving force or it could be a bunch of notes in a closed notebook tucked inside of our bookcase and forgotten. We need to bring the learning spirit into our classrooms and schools so that it becomes a well of inspiration and a motivating force that moves our communities to new heights.
4. What Brings True Happiness?
The ultimate determining factor in achieving happiness is whether or not we are working on a mission that matters, that is, a purpose that we believe in, alongside others.