Fostering an Appreciation for Joy

Earlier this week, Dr. Webster spoke to our third, fourth, and fifth grade boys about joy. It was Morning Meeting and a perfect time to reflect on what makes us joyful as we gathered together in the music room. Mrs. Cyman began our session with Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” as the boys entered, and soon after Dr. Webster solicited answers to the question, “What does joy mean to you?” Some answers took on a less serious tone such as, “When my allergy medicine works!” However most answers spoke of the joy that stems from family experiences and interacting with nature. Our meeting ended with a heartfelt singing of “This Little Light of Mine”. I speak of this because the brief thirty-minute gathering was yet another reminder of how the school experience extends far beyond classroom academics.


Ideally, the boys in our care come to school each day with the same joy and enthusiasm as they did on that first day of Kindergarten. Watching the Kindergarten this week prepare for their Mother’s Tea, one would have thought school was one big party and you were either preparing for it, or in the middle of it! While practicing songs may not have been the most joyful part of the experience, the end result was wonderful and certainly filled the audience of mothers with joy. See the video below.

Little moments of joy were what I thought about when the boys were pondering the term in Morning Meeting this week. While our older boys may lose some of that joyful enthusiasm for all things school after Kindergarten, they seem to experience so many smaller moments during the school day that I would venture to call “moments of joy”. Joy and laughter filled the faces of 3A this week when they were greeted at the door by their teacher, Mrs. Reiter, who had transformed herself into a character from the eighteenth century. “What is that slate you now have on your desks with a piece of fruit upon it’s back?” she asked. They had no idea how to respond or react until they joyously wandered into character with her. The lesson, as so many lessons in our classrooms do, reminded the boys that school can be fun!



I hope that everyone has a joyful weekend, whether on the sports field watching your son play (almost always a joyful place for me when my own children were young!), or watching the rain fall outside while playing an indoor game. Enjoy!



I hope that my communication with you each week encourages “talking points” to inspire conversation with your son or sons. Here are some “talking points” based on recent school events.



  • If you are in Kindergarten- How did you enjoy the Mother’s Day Tea? Did your mother think her portrait looked like her? Which tea sandwich did you prefer?


  • If you are in Prep-One- What animals did Mr. Smyth talk about from his safari trip when he came and spoke this week? Would you like to go on a safari after learning so much about Africa?
  • If you are in First Grade- Where did you begin on your journey across the Oregon Trail according to your Pioneer Journal? What adventures did you have along the way?
  • If you are in Second Grade- What did you write in your passport? How did you make your sachel that you will use on Immigration Day? What currency will you use during Immigration day?
  • If you are in Third Grade- What are you learning about Lewis and Clark? What are you anticipating about the Day of Exploration? What are you learning about fractions in math class?
  • If you are in Fourth Grade- Are you enjoying the novel Frisby and the Rats of Nihm?
  • If you are in Fifth Grade- How did you enjoy lunch at Shield’s Tavern? Did you get any sleep in the hotel in Williamsburg? What new things did you learn about Colonial life in Yorktown or Williamsburg?

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