Be all that you can be. Find your future--as a teacher.

Musings of a second-year teacher.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A friendly look, a kindly smile, one good act, and life's worthwhile.

Just a quick comment for the day. I went into my practicum classroom today to discover that my cooperating teacher was out with the stomach flu. Needless to say, there was a sub there in her place. While I talked to the sub for a few minutes and she seemed like a nice-enough woman, I didn't see her smile the entire time I was there.

Maybe it's just me, but smiles sure brighten up the classroom. I'm pretty sure kids can sense a teachers' mood and if a teacher isn't happy to be at school, can you complain if kids aren't happy to be there either?


Blogger Lani said...

Hi Meg,

For some reason, my bloglines account didn't recognize your posts until today!?

Unfortunately (in my opinion) there are many educators who believe that smiling is a sign of weakness; and often new teachers are warned not to smile for months.

I have always believed that youngsters should feel welcomed and that a smile was one part of that. I fondly remember Teddy--

At one time I taught at a magnet high school in a large urban district. I worked with students who were labeled learning disabled. On the first day of school one year, I was assigned to the front desk right at the front door to help direct students to their homeroom. A bright-eyed, pretty young girl looking totally lost asked for my assistance. With a big smile I welcomed her and asked her name so I could look up her homeroom. I recognized her name immediately as one of my new ninth grade students and told her so. Teddy and I shared lots of ups and downs through the four years she attended that school. During those four years, she often knocked on my door to tell me she was suspended and on her way home.(she cussed out the librarian because he would not help her with an assignment, he called the principal an "old baldy") Whenever she was with me she was cooperative and appropriate so I asked her why? why use such inappropriate language with others? Her reply: "You're different. You greeted me with a wonderful smile that very first day."

When she graduated, Mom insisted that she take a picture of Teddy and I together. I cherish that picture--she in her graduation cap and gown with her diploma and I --both with huge smiles. And the inscription on the back "Ms. Ritter--look at these smiles!"

You are absolutely right in my book "A friendly look, a kindly smile, one good act and life's worthwhile."


9:46 AM  

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