the smile, it’s all they want

I haven’t posted to this blog IN MONTHS! That is definitely not like me. Well, I am hopefully back now. I am back here to share my thoughts and ideas and feelings about teaching or anything else life throws my way. I have been caught up in blogging to this blog for my K-8 Spanish language-learning classroom, and this blog for school that is new and dedicated to the use of our Pilot iPad Program. Those have been keeping me busy and I am all blogged out! But I have realized I need this blog to reflect personally on my day to day with my students, my colleagues and life in general. I miss it.

So this post will be simple. It has been a long time in the making in my head and been in my thoughts. I have been meaning to write it here for a while now.

The one simple thing that my students want daily from me is to make me smile. They really do. They want my approval and I guess they have learned here at school that it comes in the form of a simple smile and sometimes a chuckle.
Most days it is so easy to make me smile. I come to school smiling. I am so happy almost every single day to be here. If I am not smiling when I arrive here, just thinking about this wonderful place where I work can make me smile. I sound so cheesy, but it is true. My job is fantastic.

But some days are harder than others to just simply smile and make sure each one of my students knows that they are loved. A smile is pretty simple with my Kindergarten-6th graders. They just love everything we do in this classroom so it is easy to smile with them. Even with my middle school students (7th and 8th grade) it is easy to smile. I have just had to re-learn what it is like to be inside the sometimes warped mind of a teenager.
But then there are the days when my students of all ages do something that might not have been the best choice to make in school, and I have to make sure that even when they’ve made a poor choice, they still know that I love them. I teach them for NINE WHOLE YEARS. It is a long time with a challenging student or a child that I just have a hard time meshing with…

Now that it is written here, now that I’ve committed it to “paper”, I’ll do a better job of remembering this and trying my best to smile and make sure these kids know I love them, no matter what.


Every Tuesday I begin my teaching day with my Kindergarten class.  I love Tuesdays!  I wish I had video of my class with them today!  They are learning Spanish through TPRS.  Today and every day with them is such a learning experience!  I must preface this whole post by saying that I only get to teach my darling Kindergarten class one time a week for 30 minutes.  Today we were recycling some words we had learned last week: the fish, the cat, big, and small.  So I used a technique called directed draw.  I told them some little mini-stories and then they drew what I said.  Simple.  We used small dry erase boards and markers.  THEY WERE SO EXCITED to be able to use the dry erase boards and markers!  They were even more PUMPED when I told them they were going to get to sit at the big kid tables.  (We usually sit together on the floor in a big carpet because the tables in my room are more suited for middle school kids).

It was perfect because they are learning the words big and small so as they each walked to sit at their tables, they were all saying, “Ooooooooooooo, grande.”  And then talking about how pequeño they were (because I asked them if it was okay and if they could handle sitting at the mesas grandes, even though they were muy pequeños.)  Oh my gosh, they were all so happy to be sitting at the tables!  Oh I wish I had video!  Next time!  They were beaming, feeling so proud of themselves at the tables.  It was such a little thing that meant so much to them.  They are a constant reminder to always find joy in the little things.  Honestly, if I can try each day to take a moment to notice just the simple things in life that make me so happy (like sitting at the big kid tables) maybe I can achieve that sweet, innocent, innate happiness like my kindergarteners have.  It is such a simple lesson, but such an important one.  It gets so much more difficult for many of us as we age and experience certain changes in life, but being around kids (of all ages) each day truly reminds me how simple life can be.  How happy I can choose to be… They teach me just as much, if not more, than I teach them!   Here are two quick adorable videos of them singing to brighten you day!