Just act like you know what you’re doing, another experienced teacher had counseled. So, that morning, I stood outside my classroom door and greeted every student with a smile. Outside, I was calm and sunny; inside, I was a mass of thunderstorms. For my first order of business, I handed out index cards and asked my students to write their names, list their favorite books and songs, and something unusual about themselves. Then I told them the same things about myself. They were thrilled. Their previous teacher had never laughed, never joked, never shared anything about herself. She was all business, so they clapped whenever I grinned. (On that first day, this acceptance seemed like a godsend. A few days later, when a few students assumed that affability meant an open door for anarchy, I learned why other teachers advocated coming in hard).