How can educators and administrators help cultivate more joyful working and learning environments?

This summer, GetSomeJoy rolled up to Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency’s FOCUS Summer Learning Conference at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa with our Community Literary Therapy Wall, our beloved fried chicken stickers, and creative wellness tools to unpack this question and create space for educators to process and share about what’s impacting and supporting their mental health.

This is what had happened.

Here’s how we brought some JOY to the 2023 FOCUS Summer Learning Conference

Keynote presentation:

How to GetSomeJoy@School: Cultivating Joyful Learning Environments in this Raggedy Moment in History

Breakout Session:

Literary Therapy for Educators + Administrators

Interactive Experience:

Community Literary Therapy Wall + Creative Wellness Resources

Every school needs more joy in this raggedy moment in history.

We talked to educators about how to make that happen.

When do you feel the most joyful at school?

We asked educators at the 2023 FOCUS Summer Learning Conference about their favorite parts of the day.

Here’s what they said:

“When I'm able to build a rapport with kids who need it the most.”

Lisa L

“I feel the most joyful at school when I have built strong relationships with students and can celebrate their successes (small or big) with them.”

Kathy S

“I feel the most joyful when I hear the ‘hum’ of learning in the classroom.”

Pennie K

“I feel the most joyful in the morning when I have time to connect with kids and have casual conversations that aren’t about school.”

Sammie B

“I love when the students walk into the building in the morning and they run in from the bus.  They are so excited to be there.”

Amy S

“In the mornings when the students are just arriving and you have brief conversations, and a cup of fresh coffee!”

Amy B

“I’m most joyful when I feel like I’ve been able to connect with kids, especially on the tough stuff and they say they feel better, in whatever way that may mean to them. Definitely fills my heart.” ♥️

Sofia S

“I also feel most joyful when I feel supported by the admin and my co workers as well!”

Sidney S

“When a student laughs!”

Robin M

“I feel most joyful when students connect to a book I read aloud and it makes them excited to find more like that book. ❤️”

Colleen G

“I feel the most joyful at school when students see their hard work pay off. ❤️”

Rachel M

When do you feel the most joyful at school?


What is 1 way educators + administrators can help cultivate a more joyful learning + working environment?

“Incorporate play into the day—leave white space for creativity + exploration.”


What are you doing to getsomejoy? What’s on your Joy Agenda for the year?

“Making plans with friends, getting to know my students and co-workers, taking a break when I get stressed”


What does JOY mean to you? How does it look, feel, sound, taste?

“Joy is a state of mind where moments and actions can be directed towards light and love. It feels uplifting, sounds happy, and tastes sweet!”

This is how we do it

We wrote about finding joy at school, unpacked barriers to thriving, and  collaborated on creative wellness toolkits for educators and administrators.


Schedule a GetSomeJoy@School Consultation to see how our joy-infused experiences + resources can help foster connection and prioritize community wellness in your school, program, department, or district.

OR, use THIS GETSOMEJOY@SCHOOL FORM to tell us about your event/idea and we’ll reach out to you.

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Subscribe to The Joy Report and we’ll send you joy-flavored updates, ideas for prioritizing joy at school, and creative wellness tools for you and your community.

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You’re so pretty.

Let’s keep the party going:

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