It’s Important to Smile As You Read!

10:07 am Professional Growth

Last evening I was at the library hoping to find that great book that would make me smile as I read.  I picked out one, Precious Creatures and two audio-books, from the Yada, Yada Prayer Group series. I was almost out the door when another book, from my past, caught my eye – Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul. I had read this book cover to cover three times and had always smiled all the way through it. 

After dinner I began to skim the book and smiled as I read the quotes at the beginning of each story.  I would like to share some of these with you in hopes that you too will smile and grow from them.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. William Arthur Ward – This is found in the Chapter 6, Answering the Call, before the story, “Full Circle.”

I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a person’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a person humanized or de-humanized. Haim Ginott – This found in Chapter 1, A Day in the Life, before the story, “The Girl in the Fifth Row.”


Inside every great teacher is an even greater one waiting to come out. Source Unknown – This is found in Chapter 8, Beyond the Classroom, before the story, “Excellence in Love in Action.”

Try not to have a good time……This is education! Charles Schulz – This is found in Chapter 11, Thanks, before the story, “A Typical Day”. A summary of this two page story follows:


As a high-school teacher, I have understandably become concerned not just about the future of our profession but the public perception of it as well…..   The story goes on to tell how one work day he took a leisurely stroll around his building to see what went on outside of his classroom. At the first door the math teacher was providing individual attention to a student. On down the hall at a history teacher’s door a large semicircle of enthusiastic students engaged in a lively debate regarding current events and issues.  Passing the gym the PE teachers was working with a group of boys on basketball passing drills. At the science door he watched intently as a group of four students explained and demonstrated the nature and design of a scientific invention they had created. Further down the hall dancers of every shape and size were moving in seemingly random directions, although their various destinations were obviously well-rehearsed.

The story ends with the following: My excursion complete, I return to my corner of the school and reflect on what I had observed. Nothing surprising really. It was essentially what I had expected to find: goal-setting, Problem-solving, teamwork, critical analysis, debate, discussion. In short, learning. The only thing that you may have found surprising, but I didn’t, was that when I began my journey, the regular school day had already ended an hour before.                                       Brian Totzke

I am smiling! Hope you are too!

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