My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

December 18, 2012

In Search of Smiles

Read more Slice of Life stories at
Two Writing Teachers

At 8:45 I popped my head out and checked on the students on the playground.  Two second graders came running up to the door.

"Hi, Mrs. R!"  they chimed, smiling ear to ear.

"Good morning!" I replied.  I talked with the girls and a few other students about staying off the muddy field. I told them I would get my coat and see them soon.

Earlier, our principal and social worker had lead an early morning meeting centered around how our staff should react to what children might ask about the Sandy Hook tragedy.  There was discussion about locking our classroom doors, what to say and not say to our students.  Very little of the discussion was about how to take care of ourselves.  Most of our staff looked tired and anxious.

I knew what I needed:  fresh air and some smiling faces.

I grabbed my coat and told my friend, Michelle, that I was heading out to the blacktop where most of our students line up.  She decided to join me.  I greeted every student and adult with a smile.  I made lots of welcoming remarks, noticed cute hats, baby sisters and red noses.  We talked about the muddy field and our wishes for snow.

In return I received lots and lots of smiles.

Now I was ready to start my day, teaching and learning along with my students.

A smile goes a long way.  I hope everyone can find a smile (even a small one) this week.


  1. That is exactly what I needed. Smiling students wanting to be at school. I'll meet you again today. :) Thank you for your smiles as well.

  2. Yes, that smile goes a lot further than any of us can imagine, especially during difficult times in our lives. God bless you and every other teacher who is not only dealing with the children, but all of their own feelings. Keep smiling and getting more in return.

    1. Thank you, Judy! I'm working hard to count my blessings this week (and every day) and keep positive.

  3. It really was amazing how many smiles there were! The innocence of children...I love it!

  4. You touched on something very important here, Chris. No one told you how to take care of yourselves as teachers. We're all grieving since we know we would have done the same thing if we were the teachers in those classrooms. That's what we do as teachers. We put kids first. Someone has to help teachers remember how to take care of themselves during this incredibly trying time.

    Good for you for getting outside and making what was likely a very stressful day for all of the adults dropping off their kiddos much easier. Your warmth, despite the cold temps, were likely felt by all who were in your midst.

  5. I truly believe smiles are gifts we give each other. The nice thing is that you usually can find one when you need it most.

  6. Exactly right! I'm sorry no one said anything to help the teachers because they affect the students & need the support too. You commented on my post so you know that I did a similar thing (although until I was there I didn't know that being with the students would be just what I needed). Here's a smile for you!