From the beginning of my teaching career, I remember trying to go out during recess and playing basketball with kids, because I was passionate about the sport, and that meant something to the students. Not only did this boost my confidence as I grew older that I could still score on 12-year-olds on the playground, it was also a great way to connect with both students I taught and didn’t teach that year.
I have a personal policy that if I was to pass a student or an adult in the hallway, I would always acknowledge them in some way positive. A little “hello” or positive comment to someone could significantly improve their day, whether you know it or not. I know that when I go to the gym and get a friendly hello or acknowledgment from someone working at the counter when I check in, it can improve my mood and change my workout, and sometimes, my entire day.
There is a lot of bad stuff in our world. Maybe there is more than there has ever been, perhaps we are just more aware of it, or maybe it is both I don’t know. What I do know is that a subtle positive interaction with a student (or adult) walking in the hallway could be a pebble in the ocean that eventually changes the tide for that child.
Or maybe it doesn’t.
I also know that no matter how many times I acknowledge someone positively, I never run out of opportunities to do it again.
The safest bet is to always err on the side of positive. Small interactions can make a massive difference.
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