There’s nothing more important than building positive relationships with our middle school students. The simplest way to do this is to greet your students as they come in the classroom. Here a few reasons why this simple act of kindness is so important.
You set the tone for the class. A simple greeting lets students know that their day is starting over, you are ready to go and any past issues have been put to rest. How many kids face situations where love and relationships are conditional based on their performance. Kids get ignored, punished for things they have little control over in their home life. As a professional educator, we can give them a new chance every day without a cloud hanging over their head.
You model positive behavior. Students need to develop the process of communicating with others. Greetings are widely known as a prosocial behavior. Understand that many students do not have this behavior modeled in their own homes. You represent a positive role mode to a world they may not have access too.
Saying “hi” can communicate value. Have you ever known a person that simply ignores you and doesn’t even acknowledge your presence? This can be frustrating at the least. People have names and it’s the easiest way for us to build up our students.
You get a barometer of the day. Excited, bummed out, stressed? You can generally get a feel for the way your class will go just by this small interaction. There have been days where I restructured a lesson because I could sense the students were “nuts” that day and I would need a schedule that would help reel them back in.
If you never made it a point to greet your students, now’s the time to try. Building positive communications with students is like putting a deposit in the bank. The more positive interactions, the easier it is to make a withdraw when you have to deal with discipline issues in class.
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