The class jostle at the door, and then melt into a line as the teacher approaches. A pile of books under her arm, she greets each student while dishing out books and essays to their owners. Grainne Hallahan, an English teacher writes in Tes.
The students head to their places and begin a quiz that the teacher has left displayed on the board.
Many schools request that teachers begin each lesson by greeting students at the door. Doing so can be useful for purely practical reasons. It allows you to tick off a number of admin jobs as you greet students, such as returning paperwork and handing out textbooks.
More importantly, though, research suggests that this strategy is good for behaviour management.
Clayton Cook, a professor in the Institute of Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health at the University of Minnesota, assessed the effects of greeting students at the door on behaviour in a small-scale study of 203 students in sixth to eighth grades (Years 7, 8 and 9) in 2018.
Teachers taking part in the study’s intervention group were provided with training sessions on the technique of greeting students at the door, while control classes were given the same amount of time to spend on general behaviour management practice.
The study found that over two months, teachers’ ratings of students’ behaviour positively increased in the intervention group, while those for the control group remained constant.
“Teacher-student relationships are critical to creating a positive classroom climate in which students feel a sense of belonging,” he says. “People who care about one another make a point of greeting one another.”
Sana Master, head of English at a school in Yorkshire, has found greeting students at the door to be very successful.
“It’s a way to signal to them that they’re entering my territory, but also to smile and say hello to whoever is passing by. Greeting at the door is a way to indicate this is a fresh start after whatever might have happened in a previous lesson,” she says.
Read the full article Say ‘hello’ at the door to say ‘goodbye’ to poor behaviour
Have you tried this meet and greet approach? Did it improve classroom behaviour? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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