I taught a lesson today. Ok, so it was somewhat artificial. I was working for Apple at their national RTC (regional training centre) conference at the Belfry near Birmingham. One of my sessions there over the two days was looking at a new App they have called Apple Classroom. It really is a nice bit of kit and I will try to write more about it in the future given I have now had the opportunity to use it in a real setting. In the session I had 40 or so teachers in there completing a bunch of learning activities which I had concocted using Paper by 53 and Explain Everything.
The use of the software got me thinking about the routines I use in the classroom to support learning.
As I was driving down the M1 to London I started thinking about my favourite routines in the classroom. Was it the song ‘top button’ that I would sing or the ‘We Can Do It’ song from ‘Jungle Junction’ that I would play to promote a growth mindset in my pupils?
What I came to realise though as I thought through all of my different classroom routines was the one that had one of the biggest impacts was the simple, ‘meet and greet’.
Meeting and greeting your pupils as they come into your teaching area is so very important. Do you do it? Do you smile as your children walk into your room? Do you shake their hand? Do you ask them how they are? Do you make them feel welcome?
Meeting and greeting your pupils can make a massive difference just through this very simple act. It promotes good manners. It promotes an interest in them and their work. It sets the tone for your classroom. It sets a purposeful and respectful atmosphere for the work they are about to undertake in your classroom.
It’s such a simple thing to do too. It doesn’t cost anything other than you standing up, crossing your room and smiling and greeting your pupils in a positive way.
You might even like to try shaking their hand. I did this for a while too. You will be so surprised at the response. Of course, the first few times the pupils will think that you’re off your head. After a while though and the routine has bedded in, you’ll find it will become welcome and part of what you do. Positive. Respectful. Just good manners. Keep doing it too. If you cannot stomach the hand shaking, please do the meet and greet. It’s important to sweat the little stuff. It makes it so much easier to deal with the big stuff when it happens.
It all comes down to relationships and we all know from Hattie’s research for common sense that strong relationships with pupils (and parents) can have a big impact on pupil progress.
If you don’t meet and greet. Why not try it? It works for me!