In my workshops, I often talk about the importance of greeting students at the door in the morning to set the tone for the entire day. A simple welcome can provide the enthusiasm and warmth that gets a student excited and ready for the day. As shared in “Innovate Inside the Box,” this simple gesture is actually to have been proven by research to be beneficial for our students:
“…a simple greeting at the door can make a significant impact on how a student feels and acts that day. A recent study found that when teachers greeted their students positively at the door, academic engagement increased by as much as 20 percentage points, while they saw a decrease of 9 percentage points in disruptive behavior. It’s really much bigger than someone’s physical presence at a classroom door. It’s about positive relationships.”
The reason I bring this up though is not only because of the benefit to the students but also for the adults. I was recently asked how we keep up the beginning of the year “energy” the entire year, and my answer was to connect and enjoy the students. Being outside of the classroom and greeting students, seeing their smiles and enthusiasm, can also give that energy boost to the student, as well as the adult. As an administrator, I knew that when I was feeling overwhelmed, I would get into classrooms to be around students and connect with them. They not only reminded me of why I do what I do, but their enthusiasm was contagious.
I know that there are tough days with students; I have had them myself. But if you look for those positive interactions with students, you will not only find them, but they can be the fuel we need to bring up our energy.
As kids, we often dream up wanting to be adults, and then as adults, we look back wanting to be more like kids. It is a true blessing to be in a profession where you can be continuously inspired by the youthful enthusiasm of our students.