Writing my way through the school year!

I am ashamed to write this. Not I am ashamed,  ” but secretly I am grinning maliciously inside”, ashamed, I am really ashamed that I behaved in this manner a long, long, time, ago. But its part of my story, so I will share it.

Back in the 80’s, we had a teacher in our school who was always smiling. She smiled morning, noon, and night, and she got on my last nerves!  I always wondered why she was  so cheerful, didn’t she realize how annoying she was? Didn’t she realize that people had problems? So, to put an end to her everlasting cheerfulness,  a colleague and I decided we were going to “get her.” We were in the grade below her, and we decided we were going to put the worst kids in her class, and force her to stop being so cheerful. Well, our plan didn’t work, she still smiled, and she continued to annoy me until she moved out of the state.

Fast forward twenty + years. I am now the cheerful teacher.  I am the teacher who is always smiling, no matter how “bad” my kids are.  I am the positive, (most of the time), one who tries to make the best of a bad situation. I am the one greeting students and staff alike with a cheerful “Good Morning”, even if I don’t get a response. (Staff included) I am not the only cheerful one in my school, there are a few of us, and I know there are teachers who find us annoying, as I did that teacher from long ago. Some of us have even been asked why we are so cheerful. They have tried repeatedly to drag us to the dark side, but we continue to go towards the light.:)

I can’t tell you when my attitude changed, I’m not sure when.  I just know that none wants to spend 6 1/2 hours a day with a miserable person who gets no joy out of being around you. I thought about my own children being stuck with a teacher like that.  In this climate of teacher-bashing, it can be difficult to remain positive, but it’s not the kids’ fault.

In the years that I have been teaching I have had my share of personal problems, but I have not let them affect the way I treat my students.  I have experienced divorce, death of a parent, and illness, and have not allowed any of these issues to treat my students with any less respect and love than I was used to giving.  As a matter of fact, being around my students caused me to be sucked into their world, and to forget about mine for a little while.

Am I perfect? No! Do I have a grin plastered on my face all day? No! But I do laugh, smile, and compliment our kids every chance I get. Wherever that teacher is from long ago, I hope she is still smiling.  I wish I could tell her I have joined the ranks of the cheerful teacher and that I am never going over to the dark side again! 🙂

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Comments on: "The Cheerful Teacher -Staying Away from the Dark Side!" (4)

  1. Richard Cottingham said:

    Thank you for a beautiful and important reminder of our obligation to put the children first. I am retired now but I continue to be concerned about what goes on in the classrooms of our schools and it had not even occurred to me that the current climate might be spilling over into unintended hostility or indifference to the students. Good job!

    I remember working with a perpetually happy teacher years ago. His enthusiasm and exuberance did not offend me but I sometimes thought he was a bit insincere. Some other techers were openly hostile toward him. I hope they saw the light as you obviously have. Thanks again.
    Richard Cottingham

  2. I am a Teaching Assistant and I have had some pretty hard struggles in my personal life and pretty shocking double whammy of bad news this year, but despite feeling like I don’t want to go in, I force myself to go and am glad because the children come first and it’s so good to know you are helping to set foundations that will help them later on in life, If I can give one of those children a feeling that I care, then I have done my job! I am always smiling, I am super shy but I still try and make an effort and say hi to my colleagues most say Hi back other times I get odd looks but you are so right, we need to be positive and smile as much as possible, it may be the only smile that child get’s in a day! Thanks for posting this!!

    • I am sorry to hear about your bad news, I hope things work out. I am glad that you are still able to prevail, and be good to those kids despite your worries! Wishing you the best!

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