Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Smile this morning

In an essay written for another class in high school, a student named Becky wrote about me:
Other teachers walked by in the hallway.  But he would smile and say "Hi Becky," or simply smile.  Either way, I actually remembered it and thought about it when I got home from school that day.  It would brighten up my day.  If he didn't realize it, I always wanted to tell him that when I felt lost and confused, I always knew that I could talk to him about it.  I never did talk to him about a personal problem, but just knowing that if I did tell him he would listen.  It helped me figure things out and find my way. 
I don't have too much to say about it other than Becky was pretty perceptive; I didn't realize it.

Yet, the advice we received as children from grandparents, parents, and probably Mr. Rogers is still good.  We should all smile more, especially those of us who work with young people.

Teachers and coaches are mountains to young people.  The closer we are, the bigger we seem.  If we create distance between ourselves, we simply become just a part of the scenery.  It is difficult to do this job, the complete job, from a distance.

By acknowledging every kid we can each week, we elevate them in their eyes.  Don't pretend not to see them in the hallway.  Hello, good morning, anything positive is better than nothing. It is on our shoulders to do these things for kids.  We may never be assessed on it by our administrators, it may never be at the top of the teacher training pedagogy, it probably doesn't make the cut for the NCTE convention, but it is so so important for us to do.

We can not let those opportunities go.  We all have another opportunity today.

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