Monday, October 6, 2014

What Does A Smile Cost? #EdChat

I like to present myself as a pretty happy guy. Even on days where I find myself mired in non-happy feelings, I still try to keep on a happy face. One of the ways I do that is by getting out into the hallways during passing time and just standing there smiling at the students I make eye contact with and saying hello to the current and former students that walk past. The other day, a student asked my why I'm smiling all of the time, and I was not sure exactly how to answer, but I told them I was happy to be here at school. It received a slight smile in return and a fair amount of disbelief. The real answer is actually pretty simple.

I smile to all of the students because I know that, for some of them, it will be the only friendly smile they will receive all day.

I think teachers can find themselves so busy in the day, that the simplest gestures can be lost and forgotten. Giving my students a warm smile as they walk the hallways could be a difference maker in their day. Some might think that is a stretch, but I feel that many of us have had those students who only made it day to day because they received that warm smile. I like that the students can count on me to be in the hallway or hanging in my classroom before school starts. I want to create an environment where students feel welcome all day, not just when they are in my class to learn.

A smile is something that will not cost you or the district you work for any money. They can be shared freely and, sometimes, they will even be returned to make your day a little bit better. I hope people will read this post and will go out and spread smiles around their school. Smile at students you know. Smile at students you do not know. Hell, smile at anyone at any time. These little acts of kindness are great way to remind people they are notices and they are important. As my friend Angela Maiers says, "You Matter".