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Joy in Our Relationships with Children, Families, and Each Other

by Luis Hernandez
May/June 2012
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/joy-in-our-relationships-with-children-families-and-each-other/5020598/

In the hustle and bustle of everyday work, we tend to put on the back burner the inherent joy we experience working with children, families, and each other. Between writing lessons plans, making observations and anecdotal notes, taking a call from a parent, reassuring a child about a playground booboo, and growing impatient with a team member‘s seventh ‘family emergency’ this week, the joy in great early childhood education can quickly evaporate.

There are plenty of citations in management books, motivational posters, workplace seminars, and early childhood education articles that refer to the importance of creating atmospheres of satisfaction and joy. The premise of joy is quite different from humor in the workplace, when work leaders turn staff meetings into a comedy club or flight attendants tell funny stories (“We just landed in North Korea!”), or effervescent workers constantly act out particular holidays: “It’s always Cinco de Mayo around here!”

Rather, the spirit of joy is like magic in the air. Everyone appears to be singing and dancing, the colors seem brighter, even the USDA-approved menu is delicious. No, you are not in a Disney film or hallucinating. You have just entered a dimension where a level of playful ...

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