Simple joy.

A normal thing, in the midst of unprecedented events, can bring joy. In our district, we welcomed 6th and 7th graders back into our middle school this morning. Joy. Simple and pure joy.

Why? These kids haven’t been in a school building in nearly a year. The building into which they walked this morning is brand new. Never had a kid step in it until this morning. I saw normal, nervous middle school kids, asking, “Where do I go sir?”

I also saw teachers with tears in their eyes. The normal thing of a first day of school, after such a long time away, produced tears of joy. “I’m so happy to be back with kids!” Direct quote.

Of course we have had school online. Still do, and it’s so much better in delivery and instruction than it was when we started. But there is something special about having a kid right in front of you, albeit 6 feet away, behind a mask, that makes normal feel special.


The building wasn’t just new to the kids. We have teachers beginning careers in this new building, with this being the first time they’ve had kids in a classroom!

New teacher with kids in his classroom for the very first time!

All in all, a great morning. Simple, ‘normal’ things, bringing joy.

We’ll take it.

Author: Jnelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 39 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 8 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years.

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