I believe in the pure smile of a child. Nothing quite compares to a child who has just had an “ah hah” moment or finally figured out the math problem you have been trying to teach for the last hour. The smile completely covers’ their face and makes every mean or harsh thing in the world see obsolete.
When you go to the Special Olympics you see first hand how a child’s smile can stop time and bring people to a crashing halt. I have seen personally and been affected by a down syndrome boy’s smile as he sprints across a finish line or the cheers of a team as they hold hands and approach the podium to accept there gold medals. These smiles affect even the strongest person; even the marine who has witnessed war has a tear in his eye as he stands and puts medals around the necks of the Special Olympic athletes. It is love and emotion in its purest form.
I often sit in my classroom in the calm morning and wait for my class of all boys to come flying around the corner. The smiles and laughter they share every morning affects me every time. Each and every one of them teaches me to be patient, kind, and appreciative of the life I have. They make me honored to be a teacher and happy to be a part of their lives. A student’s smile often lets you know what they are thinking and what they are feeling. It is an open door to what emotion is going through their head. A child who doesn’t smile is a child who is in pain and in need of love and support. Special Education is not always the most smiling group of students but if you do get the students to smile you know that you are reaching them and that they are comfortable.
I am a teacher and I learn from my students to smile. My student’s smiles and enthusiasm has brought me joy and happiness. They make me laugh, cry, and make me proud of what I do and who I am. I see them in a world that goes to fast. I see them as part of a world that doesn’t stop to acknowledge smiles. Even though the world around them is hard and often unkind they still share their joy and smiles openly. I believe in their heart, their love, their courage, their smiles, and I believe in them.
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