Last night I was tweeting about my five year old daughter and how she's starting Kindergarten next Monday in our public schools for the first time. The last three years have been an awesome experience in pre-school.
A wonderful school community, happy and loving teachers, everyone on campus made her feel welcome and special and like she belonged!
With only a few more days until she starts, I've done some deep thinking on what I really want for her experience to be. It has nothing to do with curriculum, GAFE, Chromebooks, math centers or even making friends. I simply want ALL the people who interact with her at school to be happy.
I want them to smile. To say hello. To be interested in her. To ask questions. To support and encourage. My two children are a direct reflection of how my wife and I have raised them until this point. If they aren't respectful, if they don't follow directions, if they aren't positive members of the school community - it's our fault, not theirs.
If you work with kids in a school setting, do not punish them for how they act. Work with them, guide them, support them - it's not their fault.
I've seen far to many teachers over the years who simply aren't happy - and kids deserve happy adults at school. If you're having a bad day, leave your problems in the car. Someone just last week told me a story about a few teachers who said they weren't going to smile for the first two months of school. They'd 'heard' the incoming class was naughty and a bunch of trouble makers.
"If we don't smile they'll know who is in charge, that's what they need."
It is a child's civil right to have happy and nurturing adults at school that smile and show them they care! (Please feel free to Tweet that, I think it's the truth and very important!)
When I was a Principal there were a few times when I told one of my teachers they needed to smile more. Honesty has always been my goal, and especially when it comes to an adult who works with kids, it's even that much more important.
Please smile, please be happy, please be genuine, if my daughter does something that makes you upset or isn't correct - please let my wife and I know so we can work on it together with you. Frowning, being grumpy, being mean, not being nice or simply just being standoffish is not okay - ever!
If you need a pick me up, Sesame Street always does the trick!
She's ready, and she deserves happy!
Pharrell Williams came out with a fun picture book called Happy last year which is definitely worth checking out!