You can help students believe in themselves, by believing in them. This post series focuses on ways to let your positive expectations show.
Dale Carnegie’s classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, lists some thirty ideas for getting people to like you, respect you, and see things your way. Of these ideas, just one is summed up in a single word: “Smile!”
Carnegie’s chapter on smiling opens with a real-life example of a socialite who showed up at a dinner party wearing expensive new clothes, piles of jewelry—and a face that “radiated sourness and selfishness.” Her hopes of making a good impression went down the tubes. If you’ve been in the habit of grooming yourself immaculately but showing a perpetually glum expression, better practice your sincere smile, or no amount of remembering names or saying “please” and “thank you” will convince your students you hold genuinely positive expectations for them or yourself.
If you have trouble maintaining an unforced smile, try the following hints:
And remember, students will imitate your overall attitude, often taking it outside the classroom—so smile for their sake!