What I’ve enjoyed most about being a new parent are all the amazing smiles I get from my boy. No matter how rough my day has been or how exhausted I am getting up early or late, he just needs to smile, and everything feels a bit better. I’m also learning how to recognize a smile is an amazing reaction from everyone, even some more difficult students.
During this term, I’ve had a few students be a bit more challenging than I’m used to, but there are also moments where these same students remind you how wonderful young minds can be. Just this week, I had one of those great teaching moments when I actually felt like, I’m not too bad at my job. We were discussing a scene from a novel where a character had misjudged a supporting character and realised that she was a hard worker, and she maintained a farmhouse on her own. We paused for a few minutes to discuss how hard work can be a source a pride for many people. I asked the class if there was anything they had built or helped build that they are proud to show off to their friends or neighbours. I gave an example of one of my wife’s colleagues whose husband had built their house with just his father and no other help. Immediately, an unexpected hand shot up.
This student and I have had a few differences of opinion this term, but today he was ready to talk about how proud of how he was. A huge smile crept across his face as he told us about how he was helping out on some major home renovations. How even just yesterday, he had invited some friends out to show off how much work his family had put into the place, and how there were no contractors, just him and his family. I listened closely, and I will remember that smile he had for the rest of the term. I know that not every class will go perfectly before June, but it is good to remind myself that there are still great moments to be had.
Just breathe, choose happiness, and smile.