New study suggests that greeting students with a positive message yields benefits
- Positive greetings at the door of classroom increased students' academic engagement by 20% and decreased disruptive classroom behavior by 9%, according to a study published in the Journal of Positive Behavior earlier this year, and potentially adds an extra hour of learning per day, Edutopia reports.
- The study suggests that teachers should greet students individually by name, as well as use a non-verbal greeting, and make positive and pre-corrective statements encouraging good behavior or suggesting how the student should begin the day.
- The approach promotes a sense of belonging in the classroom, builds a sense of community, and reduces students' and teachers' stress levels as they begin the day.
Greeting students at the door is another way to build a positive school culture. By starting the day on a bright note and with a warm greeting, students feel happier about coming to school and approach learning with a more optimistic mindset. The act also helps build relationships between students and teachers, which is an important part of making connections for learning for the rest of the day.
The act also builds a sense of community in a classroom. Students who may not always feel welcome in their home environments need to be able to feel that school is a safe refuge for them — a place where they are loved and wanted. By supporting these feelings, teachers are encouraging students to engage more fully in the learning process.
In an article on STEDI.org, author Jessica Smith also recommends a strategy for substitute teachers:
“Greeting students at the door serves two purposes. First, when substitute teachers stand in the doorway and are welcoming and inviting, it gives an immediate first impression of professionalism; this gesture lets students know in a very non-threatening way that it will not be a wasted day. Second, by greeting students at the door it gives you the chance to direct students to the starter activity. Students who are on task are less likely to behave inappropriately. It’s important as a substitute teacher to get students on task immediately,” she said.