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Well, hello there sweet teacher. Rise and shine, and welcome to another week on the blog. What an honor it is to have you, one of the greatest teachers in the world, joining me here. Today, we’re celebrating YOU, and three of the positive traits I know you exhibit.

This blog, the podcast, and the wonderful teachers I’ve connected with because of it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. And I’m so blessed not only to be continuing in this journey, but working to improve it and make it better, more beneficial for you. So with that goal in mind, I decided that the Primary Teacher Friends Podcast just isn’t descriptive enough to describe the people who show up here every week. Yes, we’re friends who just happened to teach primary. But deep down, we, and you, are much, much more than that.

You’re a Special Kind of Teacher

I’ve learned throughout this journey that only a special breed of teachers show up here. Only a special type of educator resonates with the goals, the focus and aspirations of this podcast. Yes, just by being here, I know exactly the type of teacher you are. And so we are getting a new name. But before I reveal it to you, and put it into full force next week, I want you to stay with me a moment and get clear not only on that name, but the type of teacher you are, and the community of people this new identity represents.

My beautiful, amazing teacher friend, to celebrate a new name for the podcast, I want to share three things that I know to be absolutely true about those who are here. Yes, my sunflower, this episode is all about you. Brene Brown says, “Those who have a strong sense of belonging have the courage to be imperfect.”

You’re a JOYFUL Primary Teacher!

When you show up here each week, I hope your heart is filled with this kind of belonging. I feel it. I hope you do too. And I hope that when you listen in, you not only have a deep feeling of comfort and welcome, but that you realize, because you’re here, because you keep showing up here week after week, that you have a teacher identity that is precious and absolutely sacred. You are set apart from the rest. And in my mind, you’re the cream of the crop, the golden egg. You, my friend, are not just a primary teacher, you are a joyful primary teacher.

Isn’t joyful a wonderful way to be described? If I could choose one word that would show up in my eulogy at the end of this life, I want it to be joyful. Joy is such a powerful emotion, a memory making, sought after feeling that we all want and need more of. And so, this is the adjective that describes you. You’re a joyful teacher.

In all of my knowledge and interactions with you, I’ve determined three undeniable characteristics that you hold, and that all of the other individuals who show up here have as well. This is what sets you all apart from the rest. So I want you to listen to each of these, not as if I’m describing someone else, but test each one and recognize, realize, hey, is this really about me?

Positive Trait #1 – You Seek Growth

The first thing I know about you that sets you apart from all other kinds of primary teachers is that you seek growth, because that which is growing and evolving into something better, more effective, more impactful brings joy. Growth brings joy. As I tell my students in Joyful Teacher Academy, I want you to be a sun seeking sunflower of a teacher. Sunflowers are famous for their ability to move toward the sun so they can attain maximum growth and sustainability. You are a joyful sunflower of a teacher.

Here you are, in some small break that you find in your hectic crazy day, coming to find encouragement, support and strategy so that you can keep growing. You’re searching for knowledge, encouragement, and bright rays of sunshine that can help you.

You grow taller and bloom bigger. You’re a sunflower standing vibrantly in the middle of a field of flowers that maybe have barely grown beyond the stem. You’re not like the rest. You figured out the secret that many of your coworkers may never even turn their ear to hear. You’ve learned that the only way to continue in this career and make the impact that you set out to make is to keep learning, to keep growing, to keep striving to be taller, brighter, and more beautiful.

You keep seeking the sun. You my friend aren’t a primary teacher. You’re a joyful primary teacher. So characteristic number one that most certainly describes you, my friend, is that you seek growth.

Positive Trait #2 – Your Kind Spirit

The next trait that sets you apart is your kind, warm spirit. There is no kindness to be found in the entire world like that which shows up here in you, and in the others like you, trust me. It is humbling and absolutely inspiring. The teachers who I connect with have the same joyful, giving spirit within them that I’ve strived so hard to create within myself. They uplift me. And they love their students in a way that amazes me more and more all the time, and they want to share kindness with everyone around them. This is a joyful teacher’s spirit. And boy, oh boy, is it a wonder to behold.

So many that connect with me here tell me that a friend shared this podcast with them, and it was just what they needed. That proves to me time and time again that these teachers aren’t just here to help themselves. They always want to give, to support, to encourage in any way that they can.

If I could create my own dream school, I would beg each of you to join me just because of this spirit. Imagine working in a building full of joyful, kindhearted, giving teachers. Unfortunately, it isn’t like this everywhere. But you know what? We’ve been called to different schools, different areas, and even different countries. Shout out to all of those listening outside of the U.S. who constantly send me messages of thanks and encouragement.

To all of those listening, the world needs your joyful spirit. And I’m just grateful that our commonalities, the heart that we share, has led us to be here together. I am with those who are like me, and what a wonderful feeling that is. So keep spreading that spirit, because kindness and caring are contagious, even in the hardest of times. Keep that spirit burning. Remember, you aren’t a primary teacher, you my friend are a joyful primary teacher.

Positive Trait #3 – Perseverance

And so let’s talk about this last characteristic that I know to absolutely be true about you. It is your awe inspiring perseverance. This is something that all joyful teachers share. I used to look at my happiest teacher, friends, those who seem to be born with some sort of innate, predestined joy in this career, and I absolutely hated them for that.

I would literally think to myself, this career is the most challenging, overwhelming thing I’ve ever done. Why do they have it so easy? Why do they reek with joy when I can’t even get my head on straight? It just didn’t seem fair.

It took me time and lots of learning to realize they didn’t have a perfect setup classroom or even innate talent for teaching. They just had perseverance. You, my friend, have perseverance. When times get tough, you keep going. You know you’re here for a grander, more meaningful purpose. So you give yourself no other choice but to hang in there.

You’re a fighter, a force to be reckoned with in this career, because you’re not here for the paycheck, the retirement, the summers off. You’re here to fulfill your purpose. You are here to impact the world. So you hang on tight. You keep on keeping on, you keep on growing. You persevere because you’re not a primary teacher. You’re a joyful primary teacher.

The Podcast Has a New Name!

Maybe you’re not too great at recognizing your own strengths and talents. But I’m willing to bet money, put it on the table, that all three of these qualities, these positive traits, apply to you. And so, I felt it’s time to make this podcast something new, something better. This is the identity, the purpose that you beam so brightly to others, and that I’m honored and humbled to share in. It is amazing.

And that’s why I get up early on my weekend and plan out each episode with you in my heart. And I’ll continue to do just that as long as I’m able, because the world needs more of you. Our children, our future, need the abundance of joy that passionate, driven teachers have to share.

This podcast is yours just as much as it is mine. I wouldn’t be here without you. And so, we’ve picked a new name. Are you ready to hear it? After much thought, prayer, and debate, this has literally driven me crazy, I would like to invite you to continue in this journey along with me with the name Joyful in Primary podcast. If you listen to the podcast sometimes as well as read the blog, the next time you tune in, it will look and sound just a little different, but only with intentions of making it better, more purposeful, more impactful so that you my friend can keep seeking growth, keep spreading your joyful, warm spirit, and to help you keep on keeping on keep persevering.

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Thank you for this incredible honor and privilege of sharing this special time with you. Here is to a new, more joyful adventure. And so, until we meet again, go make a difference my joyful teacher friend.