"There's so much cheese in my life: I could have block parties every weekend."
I said that. And no, I don't usually quote myself with such pride; however, this is the first random comment I have ever uttered that my students have quoted back to me. In fact, one student, the self-appointed president of the Angela Davies' Fan Club, gave me a coffee mug for Christmas with that quote on it. The other side of the mug has a picture of a block of cheese, of course.
So who cares? Is this comment profound? Well, yes, actually, it is. The profundity lies in the time in which I uttered it and in the manner in which I said it, both which go against the grain of traditional teacher protocol.
From the moment I began my journey as a teacher, I listened as seasoned professionals warned newbies not to smile before Thanksgiving. This advice has always seemed rather cold to me, and I have and will always ignore it. Why would I ever want the young adults I teach to see me as austere and unapproachable? What child should ever be made to believe that adults should harness their silliness and laughter and imagination? If a teacher gets the job done, why shouldn't he or she have fun doing it?
Anyway, that day in the second week of school, my students watched me with their little mouths agape as I laughed uncontrollably at my own silliness. And soon after, wouldn't you know it, they all started laughing at me, and then magic happened, they began to laugh with me.