A very important part of school culture is starting each and every day off on a positive note. Taking the time to greet someone, making eye contact, and sharing a friendly comment can fuel their day and give them the boost they need to have a productive, successful, and meaningful experience at school.

Human interaction is a necessity and research indicates that individuals thrive when such personal contact exists. We know this is so true for our students in educational settings as well.

As we begin each school day, throughout around every corner of the building, we are building relationships and shaping positive school culture. As children exit buses, when they arrive at school early, or when getting dropped off from parents we have the opportunity for engaging interactions with each child. As you enter the building, you can see a variety of staff greeting children with smiles, showing their appreciation for their presence and what makes them unique. In fact, some teachers meet their students at the door and students choose how they want to be greeted. A “pat on the back” a “high five” a “bear hug” and the list goes on as the choices change daily. Children love the acknowledgment and flourish with a positive start to each day.

Throughout the day greetings continue as many staff are assigned one student that they need to acknowledge and recognize daily. The intent is to be intentional and acknowledge what they bring to our school as we inquire how they are doing and how their day is going, or through just saying hello.

Simple words build trust. These gestures create a sense of value and belonging across our school community, small efforts that have such a large impact!  

Steve Emery is the Elementary Principal of Georgia Elementary Middle School. He is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY.

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