Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 23 2011

Not sure why that’s weird

Working with kids as they begin sixth grade is actually delightful sometimes. I’ve discovered that all I need to do is give them a big, warm smile and maybe a high-five. No matter how cool they are, how tough they are, or how angry at me they thought they were, they just can’t resist. These adorable little smiles just start in their eyes and sneak into the corners of their mouths. They respond so quickly and so openly to love it’s just unbelievable. Give them a couple good smiles in a row and they’re putty in your hands.

A girl asked me yesterday why I smile so much. She wondered, very honestly, if it was hurting the muscles in my face. I asked her if she wished I wouldn’t smile so much, and she gasped in horror and started vigorously shaking her head no. Then she told me, “It’s just weird. It looks like you’re really happy working with us and maybe happy with everything in your life.”

3 Responses

  1. Elsie

    That’s so beautiful. I hope one day I can be in your position and my students will realize that teaching them is not only my job, but it’s something I love doing! :)

  2. CJK

    Yes! Smiling is good for everybody. And what a great interaction to have had with her that led to confirming you are happy to be with her (even if it is hard work you do). Kids so often have not felt they generate happiness or don’t realize that you can be happy while also working hard….

  3. Lucas

    It’s pretty hard not to smile just reading this!

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