Creating Joy With Intention and Purpose

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By Mary Clements

Flowers are blooming, trees are starting to look more full with different shades of green and the days are finally becoming warmer! Regardless of where or who we are, it’s a universal feeling to be delighted by the new assortment of colours readily available to our eyes.

I recently came across author and designer Ingrid Fetell Lee who’s work focuses on neuroscience and psychology to explain why some places make us feel anxious or competitive, while another can foster delight and sharing. She uses this research to show how we can harness the power of our surroundings to create more instances of joy in our lives.

Her research and ideas really resonated with me because while striving for excellence in French learning is one of our key values, something else that is just as essential in our DNA is creating joy and happiness. I always tell our students and our teachers these two things go hand and hand when they are with us.

While I have witnessed the success of this approach over the years, brain-imaging studies support that by implementing strategies to reduce stress and build a positive emotional environment, students gain emotional resilience and learn more efficiently and at higher levels of cognition. This research shows me that creating instances of joy are not just for “fun” but are essential in creating an environment of success for our students.

As the realities and uncertainties of in-person summer day-camps continue to reveal themselves myself and my team are choosing to focus on areas that we can control: intentionally and purposefully creating opportunities and activities that foster joy while also learning French.

Until our students can join us at camp, however it may look, I want to share with you this great list by Ingrid Fetell Lee: 50 Ways To Find More Joy Everyday (for less then the cost of a cup of coffee) Investing time in increasing and ensuring frequent instances of joy will build up resilience in our mental bank of well-being. Now go forth and create some joy! 🙂

Before I begin this week’s storytime, I  talk about the importance of accepting our feelings and that all feelings are temporary. I also share a painting that I recently made that makes me feel happy! Lastly, our story involves some key spatial vocabulary that is often tricky at first. I also some how have lipstick all over my teeth by the end of the video, it is still a mystery to me about how this happened. I hope you enjoy!