I know I'm not the first to do this with their students. A few months after thinking I had the BEST idea EVER, I visited the middle school classroom of Mr. Rod Hames. He teaches in my cluster, and I like to visit him a couple of times a year to see what cool things he's doing. I arrived in the middle of a class, and at the bell changed, Mr. Hames went into the hall and greeted each of his students with a hand shake and a smile. WOW! It was very powerful. Mr. Hames had an interesting take on the idea. He said to me that he had read some where that some students go all day without any human contact. How sad is that.
So, I've come out of my own little shell. I have pushed back the nagging thought that the students are going to think I'm strange, and I have greeted them with a handshake and a smile. I started on registration day. I greeted the students first, their parents second. I'm sure some parents were taken a back, as they stood there with their hands stretched out, and I reached for their child's hand first. But you know what, right from the beginning I want my students to know that while I'm going to work with their parents, they are the bigger part of the team. They are why I go to work every day!
When I went over my classroom norms and syllabus, there was a constant theme. The theme that was echoed to us by our principal at the start of school. She said we needed a giant dose of positivity. Consequently, my supply list included (after tissues and a ream of copy paper) determination, positive attitude, creativity and a SMILE. My norms were very much the same. Be curtious, be respectful, do your best, be determined and have a good attitude, AND
...greet me at the door with a hand shake and a smile.