Today was my re-entry to the diverse and complicated world of education. Although it’s only been a short hiatus, the return to expectant faces, conflicting attitudes and underlying confusion was quite familiar.
We had the usual quiet and respectful as well as the loud and belligerent students. Everyone else fell somewhere in between those profiles. But with few exceptions, they were welcoming and genuine.
As always, I find myself evaluating what I did right and what I could have done better. Ultimately, it’s all about presentation. The most effective approach is as simple as a smile and a personal appeal to the student leaving for a moment. “Please hurry back. I’ll miss you.”
Maybe there is a lesson for those of who have no leaders or traditional teachers. Lead with a smile and sincere expression of concern or connection. Recently I made the unplanned decision to smile at everyone I encountered during a shopping trip. Almost everyone responded and I had to wonder if I may have improved at least one person’s disposition for a minute or so.
The children will continue to educate and inspire me as I earnestly seek to do the same for them. What a straightforward way to ensure a next generation of love and respect! Right now and at all other times, they need all the positive examples that are available. Shalom.