Each morning, the bell rings at 8:30, and as students enter the building, my class lines up in the hallway outside our room. I wait about one minute before I get ready to invite them inside. After I hear some happy chatter from the hallway, I emerge grandly with a big smile and say, "Good morning, my darlings! How are you today? I am so glad you are here!" Then I make a few quick announcements about the morning routines and ask them a "hook" question as I warmly invite them to enter our classroom. (The "hook" might be a clue about a special activity or visitor or about a change that was made since the day before.)
This daily grand invitation is met with big smiles, a few yawns and, my favorite: "Good morning, Mrs. Griffith! How are YOU today?" It seems a little cheesy, I know, and it may seem a little too perky for first thing in the morning. But it is a wonderful way to start off our day. My students know that they are special to me, that I like and care about them and that we are going to have a fabulous day!
Now, this is not always easy because some mornings I am tired and just don't have the energy to be so joyful. But on these days, the whole mood in the classroom changes and the students take on the attitude of their tired teacher. By the end of the day, we have a whole room full of Grumpy Griffiths. Yeah, not fun.
So I fake it. I force myself to be cheerful....and guess what? After a few minutes, I am! This positive attitude has changed the way my classroom functions. First of all, I do not hold grudges from the day before. Everyday we have a new opportunity to have a wonderful day. Second, by acting the way I want to feel, which is happy and energetic, I end up really feeling that way! By starting our day with joy, even rotten mornings at home seem to turn around by the time class actually starts.
In my opinion, the more grand and elaborate, but sincere, the greeting, the better! At first your students will think you are strange. And if you have older students, they might even roll their eyes and give you that look. But when I hear students greeting one another in the same way, it reinforces the fact that my classroom is a happy place to learn!
How will you greet your students this morning? Share your morning greetings here!!