After the first week in 23 months that I have not been in a mask at school, it was quite eerie. It was a strange feeling at first because I felt like I was forgetting something. It had been such a habit of making sure I had my badge, my glasses, especially my coffee and my mask. It has taken me quite a while to figure out which mask I liked and felt the most comfortable with so not having it yesterday was strange. As the day continued and the students came, I got more comfortable. There was a level of energy that occurred in me.
The energy came from seeing some of my students' smiles for the first time in two years. My 8th-grade students, I have only taught them while wearing a mask. The image that I had of many students when you only see their eyes and forehead was interesting. As the mask was removed the facial features were either what I envisioned or not. It was fun to see students without masks and the beautifulness of their faces was revealed. Everyone has unique features that were hidden. There were many comments I heard and said like "you have braces", " your braces are blue, how cool", "you don't have braces", " no one ever saw my braces because they were on and off in the mask time frame", "your chin is very defined", and "your smile is contagious". The smile was the most important one to me. It made me realize how much a smile can change my day.
The smiling of children is such a reward and makes teaching so much more . I didn't realize how much I missed smiles. The research supports that smiling makes life better. Here are some proven benefits of smiling:
Smiling not only offers a mood boost but helps our bodies release cortisol and endorphins that provide numerous health benefits, including:
Reduced blood pressure
Strengthened immune system
Smiling Is Contagious
Smiling helps keep us Positive.
As we embrace the newness of this time, let's all focus on the smile. If we all smile and embrace that we can see smiles, life will be so much better. The definition of smiling?
A facial expression in which the eyes brighten and the corners of the mouth curve slightly upward and which expresses especially amusement, pleasure, and approval. I remember saying to students over the last two years, I can see your smile in your eyes. I am so thankful that now I can see the smile and the eyes. Life is good, keep on smiling.