As we learn more about the human brain, scientists are beginning to further understand just how powerful it can be to simply make someone smile. Research has shown that smiling releases a chemical known as serotonin, which triggers feelings of well-being and happiness. With that, we have also learned that higher-level thinking is most likely to occur when our brains are in a relaxed state of well-being. The Goodrich staff has recently taken on the initiative to further explore this idea and implement it within our classrooms.
This past week the 5th grade students participated in a team-building activity which encompassed this idea titled “Celebrity Interview”. In this activity, each student got the opportunity to actually feel like a celebrity themselves. Each student at each team generated 5 questions on any topic. We had some very creative questions, such as “If you could run the school for a day, what would you do?” and “Would you rather eat pizza for the rest of your life or drink soda for the rest of your life?”. Each student then had the opportunity to stand in front of their team while reading and answering each questions aloud. As each celebrity stood, the teams were encouraged to cheer WILDLY just as they would if they saw their favorite celebrity walk into our classroom. The wild cheering and applause created indiscreet smiles on each and everyone of the students’ faces. Despite knowing that the applause was a fun requirement of the activity, each student clearly felt special. It was amazing not only to see the fun being had, but also to witness the relationships being built. Students were learning new things about one another and showing genuine interest in the responses of their peers.
With proven research suggesting such incredible academic and achievement results, we can't help but think about how we as teachers can incorporate this idea into our own classrooms. Not only will it create a better learning environment, but it’s also just plain fun to make someone feel good. So, as you go about your day, I encourage you too to ponder the power of a simple smile!