Dr. Wendy Ghiora – Posting #43 – March 13, 2010
A teacher’s smile is important on so many levels in the quest to reach students. Let’s face it, if you can’t reach your students, the learning just won’t happen. But how can something as simple as a smile help?
Feeling free to ask questions:
In his article about the power of a teacher’s smile, Mr.Harekrushna Behera, Unchahar shares how a teacher touches the heart of a student through the magnetic touch of smile. He adds that a smile creates confidence & love among the children. ‘Unless the children love the teacher, how can they love the subject?' The smiling face of the teacher says “love and caring,” and creates a positive vibration among the children who become fearless to express everything. They begin to ask questions. ‘Freedom automatically happens when smile exists in the classroom'. Asking questions then empowers their capacity to learn.
Feeling safe, so learning can take place
Remember how frightened some of us felt on the first day of school? It’s even more difficult today with so many “social expectations,” to live up to, especially for high school students. When you see a little lost soul roaming the hallway with class schedule in hand, your smile will instantly re-affirm your true caring nature. When you approach a child with a smile on your face, you have automatically melted down any barrier or defense mechanism that would adversly affect your communication with the child. A smile is the easiest thing a teacher can do to put their students at ease and welcome them to class. The simple power of a smile lets them know they are in a safe and caring environment. Once that is evident, learning can and will take place. Isn’t one of the reasons we teach to create a happy and nurturing environment where learning can be fun? Your smile will say all that and more!
Change their mood and your own as well…
Research shows that when we smile, even when we aren’t really in the best of moods, we actually begin to feel better. Our internal system equates certain expressions with certain feelings. We can feel good and smile; but we can also smile and feel good. As teachers, when we smile, we will definitely feel better. But that’s not all. Our smile is then reflected back to us by our students, who also feel better. Now, we have created a happy and positive environment for learning. What a great way to start your class!
An Important Responsibility
Teachers should consider it their responsibility to say or express something encouraging to their students each and every day. A smile alone, says it all. No matter how bad you are feeling, by smiling you are modeling a positive and productive attitude that will be mimicked by your students. Your smile sends them off with a happy feeling to begin their day. This may be the first (and possibly the only) act of kindness the students will experience during their day.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Smile and the whole world smiles with you.”
Well, this saying is actually grounded in fact. When you smile, it sends off a triggering effect that elicits smiles in those around you. Even in non-optimum situations, a smile can easily brighten up everybody’s mood. A smile can work wonders in a classroom full of anxious children. Use your beautiful smile daily. Shower your students in smiles and watch them blossom!
Dale Carnegie said: “The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.”