I once made an appointment with a counsellor provided by my employee benefit package for people having difficulties with situations at work. He asked me what was bothering me.
“I’ve lost the joy,” I said. He looked like he needed more from me, in order to understand my problem.
“I expect joy from my work,” I said, “And the joy has disappeared.”
He looked at me like I was crazy. I knew then that he wasn’t going to be any help, because he was used to people who wanted job satisfaction, but he thought it was really too much to ask for joy.
I knew I had right on my side, because it was there, in the statement of values our Department had written:
“We value the joy that comes from our work with students.”
The paragraph beginning “We value the joy…” means that we expect joy. We work to make it possible. We recognize it when it appears. We cherish it.
Katherine Gotthardt, who has made many thoughtful comments on this blog, talks about “teaching highs” and I know what she means. That’s part of the joy!