Creating a Caring Classroom, education, ideasLaura, at Corkboard Connections, is hosting a link up where we share how each of us creates a caring classroom that the students feel safe and recognized in.  As I was thinking about what I do in my room, something that happened early in my career just kept popping into my brain.  So I am going to share another story with you today (I am in a story mood lately!)

It was my fourth year teaching and I literally just came off of the class from you know where.  The class I inherited that year was full of a bunch of angels.  They were just the nicest group of kids.  I could leave the room, and I know they would be fine.  (not that I did of course :) )   Anyway, that year went by very smoothly until somewhere near the end of it.

They all rushed out...not even saying goodbye.
As my students were exiting the room one particularly hectic day, I looked at them and realized that at the bell they all just went home.  No one said goodbye to anyone, including me.  No one noticed anyone else.  They all just....left.  It was as if they had done their time in my room and the bell said they were finally free from the torture that was being in my classroom.

The realization of what had happened crushed me.  Now, if you know me, you know that I am *not* a touchy feely emotional sort of teacher.  There is a pretty definite separation between my students and myself.  But the lack of ANY tie between my students and my class was absolutely heartbreaking to me.  After that day, I went home and decided that things had to change...even in a small way.

The next day, I began one small thing that has stuck with me until this day.  I end the day with a personal farewell to each and every one of my students.  As my students leave my room, they walk by me and we look at each other and bow.  I say something to the students ("goodbye" or "It was nice to see you today" or mention something they did) and my students say something back to me.  Simple, sweet, and it doesn't take all that long to do.

What I have noticed by just adding this little end of the day ritual in is that the students feel better connected to the class.  They feel like someone is going to notice them at least once in the day...even if it isn't coming from home SOMEONE told them to have a good day and used their name.  It gave them a happier feeling, that someone was connecting with them.  It gave ME a happier feeling.

So even now, if it is rushed and we have to do a super quick bow or we are on the yard and they all bow at the same time to me....we always end the class connected.

And that is as mushy and touchy feely as you will ever see me be ;)  And sorry for the lack of pictures on this one.  I don't think you want to see a picture of me bowing ;)  haa haa


  1. A couple of years ago, I had each student "Give me an H" before they left the classroom. They had a choice of "H:" handshake, highfive, or hug.

    As they left the first few weeks of school, I stood by the door and initiated the H. After that, the students would search me out. One of them even went out of his way to Give me an H at the grocery store! :)

    I didn't do it last year for various reasons, but I am looking forward to implementing it this year again.

    Inside this Book

  2. I love the three Hs! Thank you for sharing with us.

  3. I happen to enjoy your mushy stories :)

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  4. I shake hands with my students when they enter the class. I like your idea of ending the day in a special way, especially if it includes a compliment.

  5. Love that idea! I need to do that.

    This year my bellringer is going to be conversation calendars (Cris Tovani's books). That way I can learn each of my students and connect with them. It's probably going to be labor intensive on my part-especially in the beginning-but I'm really looking forward to it. I will be teaching 4 classes of history so there won't be much time to "talk" with my students on a personal basis like I've done in the past. :)


  6. That's just my style. I'm not mushy either, but I do like to connect with the kids and make sure they feel acknowledged each day. :)

    The Science Penguin

  7. I have a very similar end of the day ritual. We always high-five or hug before they go and I greet them at the door every morning too. It just seems like a better way to start and end our day. I also try to ask a few kids each day what their favorite part of the day was (aside from lunch, recess, and PE of course). I always love hearing what they have to say.

    The Teaching Thief

  8. My middle schoolers (6, 7, AND 8) know the routine. When the bell rings, they must be seated and silent. Once they are--which happens immediately after the first week--I say, "Mrs. T. loves you." and open the door.
    True story,,, years ago, my class had been HORRRREENNDDOOUSS that day. At dismissal time, I simply opened the door and say, "See you tomorrow." No one moved. Total silence in an 8th grade class??? Finally, a tiny voice said, "Don't you love us today, Mrs. T?" My heart broke and said, "Oh doggoneit, yes, I love y'all. Now go home and let's have a better day tomorrow."


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