I used to be a strict teacher. I thought smiling would make the students think that they could goof around in the classroom. Therefore I wore a straight face often. Somehow after I became a mom, I was more passionate toward my students. I loved them, smiled more, and kept in mind that, “What if this is my child?”
When I asked questions in class, I allowed creative answers, and tried to find some good points to compliment them. I allowed funny but polite answers. Other students might laugh at the answers. I laughed with them. Then I asked additional questions to help the students think. They might come up with more reasonable and appropriate answers. I was generous to praise and point out thoughtful answers.
Many students thought that they were my favorite students, because I praised them. They always offered to help. During recesses, they would knock on my door and asked if I needed help. Sometime I was happy that they offered to help. Other times, I needed to take a break. So I gently told them to come back the next day.
Once in awhile, a teacher on different lunch schedule may come in to talk with me. As soon as my attention was away from the students, they would start talking. Every teacher used different technique to quiet down the students. I preferred using a silver bell. The bell was old and sometimes the clapper got stuck. I had to cover the lip of the bell and jiggle it a little bit before I could ring it softly. The students responded well with my silver tone, musical sound of the bell. They were very good at quiet down respectfully.
Seven years into the retirement. Seventeen years away from the classroom, with ten years in administration before retirement. I still have the silver bell.