Most teachers I know and have worked with over the years do not do this simple tactic to connect with students, build good relationships with parents and increase student engagement. Which is, greeting our students every morning at the door! Mostly because, we are just too busy putting out fires. But, this approach solves most of these issues. And, this is for all grades.
Having a sincere smiling greeting that acknowledges each student’s presence will establish a positive climate in the classroom, give connection, and build their work ethic and confidence. As a teacher who is entrusted to care for our parents’ precious ones, how are we starting our day? Caring or being over busy at our desk? We are to be the model of caring, calm, and constancy as we welcome students into the class. This really puts, not only parents, but the students at ease. Our classroom will run smoother and we will have fewer problems. And, it does not take much time or effort.
A great idea I caught years ago is for the teacher to greet the students at the door! This sets up a foundation for an awesome day. I found that the teachers who had the most engaging classes and best connections with students did this.
Just before the day starts, be waiting to greet them at the door.
If you have a large class, also use “Greeter Leaders.” Students, with a bit of training that you choose and rotate them for the month, perhaps a new one each week, to help you out. Say, “good morning,” and shake each student’s and parent’s hand. Let each one know that every student is welcomed and has a right to succeed. Have Consistency. An idea, say, “Welcome to our class. Welcome to your future.” Which gives Validation and sets the tone for what is to follow in class and life. What positive greetings can you think of? By the way, I do this with High school students, and it works.
Dr. Richard Krejcir is an Author, Researcher, seasoned Special Education teacher and the Director of a nonprofit that does educational training in third-world countries. He is also a STEAM teacher and a father of a son with autism.
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