Greeting students at the door every day before every class has really helped relationship building. This isn’t an original post, but here’s a quick summary of how it plays out.
1. Greet each student by name and ask about his or her well-being.
As each student walks in the room, I give them a fist-bump and ask how they are doing today. As they approach the room, I pay attention to their body language and facial expressions to determine how they may truly feel even if they say they are doing well. If a student seems distressed, this allows me to keep a closer eye on him or her throughout class to see if I can be a calming presence. If a student is upbeat that day, it may be helpful to use her attitude to build up others in the class.
2. Follow up with students about things we’ve talked about in casual conversation.
If a student had a recent event, ask, “Hey, how did your event go?” If a student had a recent injury, ask, “Hey, how’s your back doing (or whatever the injury was)? How was your birthday this weekend? I saw you performed well at your play. Congrats! I’m really excited for you.
Standing at the door is one of my favorite parts of class because I get to see every student as they come in, give them a big smile and look them in the eye. It helps us get on the same page as we begin another 50 minutes of learning together. It’s also noticed by the students. If there’s a day where I’m not at the door, they ask about where I was.