A few years ago, the viral story of Barry White. Jr. brought attention to the need to build solid relationships with students. Mr. White had developed unique handshakes with all forty of his students and performed them daily as they entered the classroom. While the impressive nature of his daily ritual was certainly newsworthy, many teachers found themselves nodding along. Greeting students at the door has long been considered best practice–and for a good reason.
In a widely-touted study, teachers greeted students positively at the door–with impressive results. The theory
Anecdotally, teachers will tell you that setting aside the time to be at their door makes a huge difference in the relationships that they forge with their students. It does not have to be fancy handshakes or elaborate routines. Simply smiling and saying “good morning” can change the way a student enters your classroom and thus, change the way they perform behaviorally and academically.
It is tempting to use the time that students are entering and getting settled for administrative tasks–attendance, checking off homework, firing off an email. However, if you set students up for success with the positive greeting and visually reminder of your presence, the study clearly showed that they would work independently with more success, thus allowing you to comp
I think it’s important to help gauge the mood they’re in and energy level they’re at, first thing in the morning.”
The study also emphasized what they call “precorrective” statements. This means that as teachers are greeting students, they’re also anticipating what they may need to be successful. This means saying things like “Good Morning, take the first few minutes of class to prepare for your test”. Even if it is written on the board or best practice in your classroom, some students may benefit from this positive reinforcement rather than waiting to redirect them when they’re off task.
Ashley also brought up another benefit of greeting them before they enter the room,
It seems that other important factors were greeting the student by name and that the interaction