Before we dive into serious topics like AYP, state testing and the special education system, I first want to touch on one of the most powerful classroom management systems:
saying good morning.
One of the largest factors that leads to successful classroom management is whether or not you have a relationship with your students. (hence why it is so dang hard to be a sub – bless you all who are subs because that is one tough job)
One quick and easy way to start building or reinforcing a relationship with a student is through saying good morning when they arrive in the classroom.
I started to do this when I was teaching at a school for students with severe autism. When they get off of the bus in the morning, as with all kids, no matter if they have a disability or not, you never know how they’re feeling. Sometimes they are THRILLED to see you. Sometimes they are getting off and already swinging at you. Sometimes they flat-out won’t leave (throw back to the time my student wouldn’t get out of the car. . . which meant none of the other cars and busses could unload and they were waiting on us. Not a fond memory).
No matter how they got off the bus in the morning, even on the mornings where I was dodging punches and reminding to keep safe hands, I still made it a point to say,
“Good morning, I’m so happy to see you at school today”.
As a teacher, I have no clue what my students did the night before, if they have eaten dinner, if they had to help their younger siblings with homework which is why theirs is not done, or if they came home to an empty house or not.
Check out this Ted Talk from Pearl Arredondo, it is EXTREMELY powerful.
When I say “good morning, I’m so happy to see you at school today”, I want my students to know that what happened the night before is GONE. It’s you, me, and school today. Those problems are not going to follow you into school, they are left on the bus steps. When you step off of those bus steps, you are LOVED. When you step off of those bus steps you are CARED FOR. when you step off of those bus steps you are SAFE.
Let me know what you do in the mornings to connect with your students! 🙂 Please share on Facebook or with friends if you too believe if the power of good morning!