Thursday, October 22, 2009


In a meeting today, when a teacher was speaking about something that concerned her, she happened to catch my eye, and I smiled – and it seemed to light her up. It was as if an extension cord was stretched between us and the power flowed through it when I smiled. I even imagined – or hoped – that it might have lit up her hour, maybe her day. As I watched her for a few minutes, I thought her words somehow had more shine and polish on them as she finished her comment, and I pictured her carrying a brighter inner light with her when she left the meeting. Of course, I’m probably exaggerating the effect of my simple smile, but it did start me thinking about the brightness I could bring to my students’ lives just by quietly smiling at them when they’re sharing a thought in class. If it’s an honest smile – a spontaneous and sincere gesture of my appreciation for what is being said – it could start up a small glow inside a student. It won’t alter the student’s life, of course – won’t be a cause to raise a shout of gladness -- but my smile might at least make his or her day a little less cloudy.

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