Teachers, It’s Okay to Smile

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I’m standing in front of my first period class after a long Thanksgiving break.

Papers are rustling.

Pencils are being sharpened.

Voices are lowering to a whisper.

And it occurs to me how glad I am to be here.

So I tell my students.

“We have a lot to go over today,” I begin and most of my middle school faces turn serious.

“But I just want to tell you all how happy I am to be here.”

Curiosity moves across those adolescent brows like a wave from one side of the room to the other.

Some even looked worried like they are afraid I am going to tell them I’m sick or dying.

“It’s true,” I continue. “I’m glad to be here this morning with all of you.

“I think teachers sometimes don’t say that enough.

“This is a great class. You’re all really good students, and I’ve watched…

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