I recently heard someone describe themselves as an 'influencer'. When I looked up what this actually means, I read "A person or group that has the ability to influence the behaviour or opinions of others".
It struck me that we all have this ability. In our roles as teachers we are role models for the young children in our care every minute of the day: how we interact with each other; our displays of affection; care; our ability to listen; to love. When interacting with our families at school and in the community: how we greet each other; value each others opinions and ideas and how we trust each other. When working alongside our colleagues: how we speak and look at each other and how happy we are to be in school.
Children are so perceptive and notice these things. We are constantly influencing the young children around us to make sense of their world, to feel safe, secure, happy and ready to learn and attempt new challenges.
A colleague took a series of photographs of a five minute encounter between me and one of our friends at Rachel Keeling. I was completing an observation of another child and she approached me , looking up and my towering figure above her. She scurried off and resources herself with a clipboard and pen (just like me), she look up, open faced and smiling, as I crouched down next to her she began to write, also watching the child. "I'm writing just like you Becky" she said. This continued for the next few minutes with her muttering to herself and us sharing broad smiles as we 'checked' each others writing. She then went and stuck her writing in her Special Book to share. Whether we are teachers, parents, friends or neighbours, we all have the ability to influence someone's behaviour or even their mood by sharing a smile!