Positive Start to the School Day

good day Image by Jennifer LebowitzIf you were asked the best way of starting each new school day, you might say it would be having students put their things away neatly, take a school-day starter assignment, get their books and assignments ready for the first class, or wait quietly for the opening announcements. All those would certainly fit into things to do before the school day begins. You probably have additions as well. But none of those come close to the best way for starting the school day… and for that matter, every class time throughout the day. This one has school leaders and educators taking the lead.

Here’s what to do:

Each morning, over the intercom/public address system—along with the students, who announce the days events—have a school leader or teacher say something like this: “Good morning, this is Mr./Miss/Ms., I’m so glad you’re here today. Remember to be especially kind and helpful to your classmates and everyone at school today.” Then mention by name a few students caught doing that during the previous day. Examples of what they did would be wonderful, as well. Change up the good morning notes each day, as well as the leaders and teachers announcing it. You want the positive messages, but being creative keeps attention. If you’re really keen for positive change, do the same thing at the end of the day, and include something about being kind, helpful and courteous on the way home, at home, and anywhere else a student might be going away from school. These announcement times are not times to do anything else, but listen. Finding the time at the beginning and end of the day is a great start to do something positive for the kind of school community everyone should have and come to expect each day.

Want to go one step further?

The next step to opening and closing the school day positively and respectfully is to take the same approach in each class and learning environment throughout the school day… and that means lunch and recess, too. A school leader or teacher can continue the positive messages before any class time begins. It doesn’t take much, just restating the “Please be kind and helpful” message before the class begins and then, again, at the end of class. Later, ask students to suggest the opening and closing class messages. And yes, those messages can be used as good reminders after a class has started, too. Students will certainly remind their classmates; they’re very good at that sort of thing. If you do nothing else but this, you will notice positive change.

Ken Royal

Ken Royal is an educator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology teaching experience, as well as a blogger on all things education and education technology. Teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. He is an Education storyteller. Follow @KenRoyal on Twitter.
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