Within seconds of getting out of my car I’ve smiled and said “good morning” to a colleague, by the time I’ve walked to my office at 07:00 I’ve smiled and spoken with three early bird students.  This continues throughout my day at school, in the corridors, on learning walks, in meetings and during my own lessons. I did think about recording the number of times I smiled in a day but knew I would forget at some point and have to start again tomorrow!

My basketball coach [@cjleeuk] would always joke about my “cheesy grin” when I was younger, particularly in photographs. I am a good ‘smiler’ and previous colleagues have described me as one. Personally I like this trait and think it has worked wonders as a teaching strategy for me.

I believe smiling is crucial to effective classroom management. For my classroom lessons I always greet my students with a smile as I welcome them through the door. Get them smiling with opportunities to interact with each other through peer assessment and innovative active learning strategies. Make them smile at you, even those students who are reluctant! They will think you’re a little weird – but aren’t all teachers according to our students?! Lift their spirits and make them happy to be learning with you!

Photo credit http://thumbs.dreamstime.com

They enjoy my stories, perhaps about me as a lost in Maputo or my experiences in Borneo jungle with the orangutans when discussing tourism or development. In PE I will share my own injuries I have had through basketball of broken fingers and black eyes to highlight contact rules! We smile and we laugh. I’m confident that my rapport with the students has always been important to their progress and my own enjoyment for teaching.

For students to engage they have to enjoy your lesson, that comes from you. Smiling helps to build relationships. It illustrates that you are kind, polite and personable. Of course, there is always a time to be serious and you will have your own way of “being serious” and when you are, remember that it is still easier to smile than frown!

According to inspiyr.com smiling makes you a better leader and is a key to success for effective leadership. Lifehack states that it will benefit your career and as a woman I will generally smile more than my male colleagues. Maybe that’s true, maybe a staff survey would confirm!

How often do you smile?! Has it benefited your career? Do you need to smile more?

Maybe these advantages of smiling will encourage you to do more!

  • You are more attractive!

Smiling gives the impression that you are easy going and empathetic. You are more sociable and confident.

  • Career benefits

Being sociable and confident will help you gain promotion (obviously you need more than just a smile but it helps apparently!)

  • Contagious

You smile or someone in the room smiles and it spreads. Spend time with people that are smiley and make you happy!

  • Releases endorphin’s

These help manage stress, and this in turn will make you feel happier.

  • Reduces stress and anxiety

When you smile your heart decreases and state of calm is felt.


  • Colleagues perception

They see you as being approachable, that you are willing to interact. You know what to do if you don’t feel like this! You are seen as trustworthy, and smiling will make you feel more comfortable in awkward situations.

Smiling at school for me shows that I enjoy my job. Smile and laugh regularly even in the stressful moments, and you feel you don’t even have time to smile, fake it! Force yourself to smile – it will lift your mood and you’ll enjoy the rest of the day more!

Featured image photo credit: http://cdn.makeuseof.com/