“Mrs. Cumming, I’m sorry about all the chatter, but my students are just so excited to take their test!”
-Promise Academy Teacher

A few things have been “going around” our community. Strep throat, some tummy bug, and yep, the flu. In fact, for a brief time, Tyler boasted the highest incidence of flu cases in the country!

Another contagion is present at Promise Academy, just as strong, just as quick to grow in the ideal environment, but infinitely more desirable: joy. Joy is the feeling that it is good for me to be me here with you.

Joy is the source of those jubilant students filling our hallway with excited practice for last week’s reading assessment. These students, because of the work of their joyful, skilled, and equipped teacher, were relishing the feeling that it is good for me to be me here with you. Competence breeds confidence, and when you give a child skills, whether it is how to tell a biography from and autobiography or how to complete a math problem with new strategies, that child can be held accountable for his work with joy. Similarly, when teachers are trusted, equipped, and encouraged, they will go through their days with joy. And when joy, not anxiety or dread, defines a learning experience, the learning sticks, the community grows, and, all the leaders present at Promise are freed to flourish.

As we enter this new year with so many possibilities, questions, concerns, and unknowns looming before us, I am paying attention to where I can cultivate wisdom, creativity, compassion, leadership. Join me, and maybe you will find yourself, as I do, working with Promise, for the glory of God and for joy.

PS: Wonder how those excited students did on their test? The majority met the objectives of the assessment, and many far surpassed the requirements!