I used to be one of “those” Christians…the ones who are constantly walking around with a big old grin on their faces. No matter what is going on, no matter what the situation or circumstances, nothing ever seems to putter a damper on their high spirits.
Sure, for some people it is a show. It can often cover deep unhappiness and can serve only as a mask for what’s really happening in a person’s life.
But for others, like me, it was a simple determination that I was not going to let my circumstances determine my mood, or my reactions.
I liked that part of me.
Of course, years of teaching started to take its toll, and my recent alienation from the church certainly has not helped. I’ve found it more and more difficult to put that smile on, and only put it on when needed (mostly when interacting with my students).
This morning, as I was walking from the parking lot to my classroom, I realized that I was grinning from ear to ear. This year is already a very challenging one; I have had more issues with student behavior at the beginning of this year than I ever have before. Yet, here I was on my way to start what was doubtless to be another grueling day of teaching, smiling and with my heart filled with joy.
This is why I cover.
I feel more connected to my faith, more connected to my joy, and more confident in who I am.
On a related note, while I can’t cite a specific study, I remember reading that school culture (and how comfortable students are at school) can be heavily influenced by the way the adults interact with students while outside of class. In schools where adults are friendly and approachable, students feel more comfortable confiding in adults and reporting bullying as well seeking help with personal matters.
Where I work, a smile can make all the difference. So, welcome back smile!