Monday, April 4, 2016


When a student enters your classroom he or she should feel welcomed. The environment itself should be a warm, safe place; however, the teacher sets the tone as the head of the welcoming committee. Therefore, station yourself at your door, and greet each student with a smile on your face.  I know you are busy and we all have things we need to complete prior to students entering our room. However, when a student walks into the room you should not be staring at a computer screen or focused on anything else in the room. Students should know they are your priority, and by greeting them you are showing them you are aware of their presence.

I learned early on that greeting kids at the door can mitigate some poor behaviors for attention. When I served students with behavioral and emotional disorders,  I dealt with a lot of behaviors. However, there were far less on days I greeted the students at the door. I had to show them that no matter what happened yesterday they had a clean slate, I was genuinely happy to see them, and I used that greeting as a way to start the day off on the right foot.  I follow the acronym T.U.M.S. I picked up from an amazing conference I attended featuring Dr. Laura Riffel, the Behavior Doctor. 

  • T- Touch- Shake their hand, high five, elbow nudge, fist bump or pinky hug each student as they come in the door. 
  • U- Use their name. Someone's name is the most beautiful sound in the world and the "most crucial" according to Dale Carnegie. 
  • M- Make eye contact. Look at the student and show them you see them for who they really are.
  • S- Smile. Smiling lets the student know you are happy to see them, excited to have them in your room and have cleared the slate from the day before.