Greeting students

Sometimes the best teaching strategies are the ones that take little effort.  Case in point, greetings students individually as they arrive to class.  Sounds simple enough, no?  You say, "Hello, Jane." and a positive statement or question such as, "It's great to see you today."  Or, you say "Hello, John. How was your track meet?"  Minimal effort, big payoff.

Don't believe me?  Read this study by R. Allday and K. Pakurar.  Greetings students individually increased students' on-task behaviors.  Another study by S. Patterson confirmed similar results (sorry, a free full-text article isn't available for this one on the web; check the e-databases at your school for the full-text article using this abstract).

Bottom line:  Greet students personably as they enter the classroom and see the difference in their on-task behavior.

Just wondering....Do you think this would work at my house?  How about at the gym?

Whole Foods?

Try it the first week of school - and all the other weeks thereafter.....



  1. I completely agree! Greeting children by name shows them that you care, are personally invested in their participation, and that you welcome them as guests in your classroom. I've been to schools where teachers don't do this (or call the children by the wrong name -- even worse!) and the children aren't as connected to the experience.

  2. Rachelle - Besides having a great blog, Tinkerlab, I couldn't agree with you more. How easy it is to greet students and call them by their correct name. Being human 101!


  3. Hey, So just a little observation...
    I totally agree that greeting the kids at the door makes a huge difference.
    I have also found that if you stand up, walk to the door and say good by/have a good day etc. Really has a big impact too.
    It sends them off on a positive note, even after being in a class for 90 minutes. And they remember and hang on to that feeling for the rest of the day.
    Just a thought.

  4. Emily -

    Bookend greetings! I love it. Greet students coming into class - see a difference. Greet students on the way out - leave a lasting impression.

    Clever, you are!

  5. AGREE!.
    I work with preschoolers and no matter what class im am working in that day, i always say hello or goodbye to the kids i pass in the hallway and teachers. its hard for a parent to have to drop their child off and wonder how their child will be. ANd i think as a teacher the parents are more comforable when they ar greeted when coming in the building. Even just alittle wave to a classroom when walking by can make a huge impact. I always try making the child feel wanted in my class and i want them to know we r going to have lots of fun today.....
    Brandi B

  6. I originally started greeting students by name so that I could learn their names. Now it's a habit. It makes them smile and makes them feel comfortable in the room. It also shows them you care enough to learn their names. That really makes them happy. Happy kids are fun and well-behaved kids.

  7. Following your advice, I make it a point to stand at the door (coffee in hand) each morning and greet students as they arrive each day. As a little experiment, after doing this for about 2 weeks, I didn't do it for 2 days. It seemed that the students were a little more noisy and distracted those days. Perhaps I imagined it, but I think that when students know you think they matter and that you are taking the time to focus on the, they are likely to respond in kind. Either way, I choose to greet them at the door each day because they matter to me.

    Meredith L.