Happy New Year, Teaching Friends!
Many of you and your students will be heading back to school this week. Having a break is a wonderful thing, of course, but we all know how tough it is to get going again. But you also know that, for some of our little ones, your welcoming smile and kind words have been sorely missed during vacation. Your love and attention may mean the world to a child who isn't feeling that security at home.
How do you plan to greet your students?
I 'd like to share something simple that I used to do with my first grade students... and I guess that it must have been memorable, because I've had students in fifth grade say to me, "Remember when you used to say, 'An h, an h, or an h?' "
I think that many of us greet our students at the classroom door. After a holiday break or long weekend, I liked to add something special. I'd ask each child individually, "Would you like an h (hug), an h (handshake), or an h (high five)?" It took off the pressure for anyone who wasn't comfortable with too much contact, it let the child make the choice, and allowed dignity for anyone who needed to be "cool".
But most of the time, there were lots of hugs! Despite all that we've been told about not having physical contact with our students, we all know the power of a hug. It's a reassurance, an affirmation,and a comfort - and if a child wants that, I want them to know that I'm there to give one whenever asked. It just might be the only hug they get all day.
Just one more thing for you today... and of course, it's a freebie! Hopefully it will be one more way to make your first day back at school a great day! It's a cut-and-paste word sort that uses Dolch sight words from the first grade list - enjoy!