The mayor of West Middleton works the crowds. He is that kid, busy in the hallways saying hi to every kid, every teacher. If he doesn’t know your name that day he runs after you to ask you what it is. And then he remembers. He knows us all, whether veterans, brand-new, student teachers, substitutes. He knows parents, siblings, and any new kid 10 minutes after they walk in the door. He smiles, laughs, and pays attention. He cares and he lets you know that he cares.
It’s not an act, this welcoming thing; it is him, something in his nature that he cannot help. Something that cannot be contained, as his teacher – trust me I have tried when we walk down the hallway. Then I realized that it was only my sense of order that made me dislike these random outbursts of talk or stopping and hugging people. I needed him to walk with me, not in front or behind me, not be around the corner when I needed him in line. Now, I let him loose on the people, let him do his thing. He never goes far, just far enough to greet, to spread that smile. And for that I am thankful, he makes me a better person, a better teacher because he shows me every day what genuine interest does for another person. He leads by example, and it is an example we should all follow; know everyone, greet them, hug them if you want, ask questions, and if you don’t know their name it is ok to ask. But most of all; remember them all and show them that you are happy they are here, happy they are with us, happy they came to school that day. The world needs more kids like him.