Hello Dance Educator Friends!
Let’s dive in.
Last week, I wrote about using the behavior management technique called Every Minute Matters in the dance classroom space. When this technique is at the forefront of our mind, we are reminded how precious the tool of time is for ourselves and our students and that we can honor that valuable resource by filling each minute we have with our students with valuable educational experiences and instruction.
I like that technique. I believe in it. It is at the core of my educational philosophy.
However, I also believe in fun. I also believe in creating magic and intentionally inserting happiness into everything. Luckily my friends, that is where the Joy Factor has a place.
Technique #62 in Teach Like A Champion 2.0, Joy Factor, is essentially celebrating the work of learning.
Here is a description of Joy Factor from page 442 of Teach Like A Champion 2.0:
It turns out that finding joy in the work of learning — the Joy Factor — is a key driver of not just a happy classroom but a high-achieving classroom. People work harder when they enjoy working on something — not perhaps in every minute of every day, but when their work is punctuated regularly by moments of exultation and joy.
Five categories for incorporating Joy Factor into your teaching are listed and described as follows:
- Fun and Games: These activities draw on kids’ love for challenges, competitions, and play (p. 443).
- Us (and Them): Kids, like everybody else, take pleasure in belonging to a group. One of the key functions of cultures — those in the classroom and more broadly — is to make members feel that they belong to an important “us,” a vibrant and recognizable entity that only some people get to be part of. Through unique language, names, rituals, traditions, songs, and the like, cultures establish “us”-ness (p. 443).
- Drama, Song, and Dance: Acting things out and singing about them can be an exceptional way to remember information. To learn a song about something — especially one that’s a tad absurd or unusual or one you sing regularly — is, for many, to know it for life (p. 444).
- Humor: Laughter is one of the base conditions of happiness and fulfillment, making it a powerful tool for building an environment of happy and fulfilled students and teachers. A tool this powerful should be used (p. 444).
- Suspense and Surprise: Routines are powerful drivers of efficiency and predictability. They also make occasional variations all the more fun, silly, surprising, and inspiring. If harnessed judiciously, the unexpected can be powerful (p. 445).
There you have it, friends! Let me know how you’re using Joy Factor in your dance classroom space! Drop a comment on this post, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a fantastic week!