Making Over Third Grade!: The Power of: "Better For Knowing You!"
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Power of: "Better For Knowing You!"

This summer just before school started our site had a retreat (this is a fancy way of saying we had an all day PD at a site other than our school). Charlie Appelstein was the presenter. He is from Boston so he is out there and in your face with his honesty (I can say this because I have family from Boston - he is a lot like them). It was refreshing and reaffirming. Nearly everything he said is stuff I already do in my classroom. Be positive, talk to kids not talk down to them, treat them as you wish to be treated. Make your classroom fun. Yeah, all of these are things I do. I love teaching. I mean LOVE it - like obsessively, which probably isn't healthy but it works for me. :)

One of the practices that Charlie had us do that Maria (my teaching partner - check us out at Spot On in Third) have incorporated into our class is a morning greeting. Everyone goes around and says, "How are you?" the other person responds with one of several phrases:

Fantastic!
Great!
Awesome!
Never been better!
Better for knowing you!

You have not seen cute until you see a group of 7 and 8 year olds going around saying "Never been better!" or "Better for knowing you!"

Each person asks and answers the question and then they sit down. We have this down to a minute and it is a fun way to start our day.

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Today was a rough day. It started out with the dog having an accident in the house and being 5 minutes late for work. Just before school started another teacher had two of my students and she was visibly upset because they were not following the rules of the morning walk. Okay. Well one of these students can't get past a hiccup like this. So my day then became a doozy. He didn't follow any direction and he became increasingly angry. That just frayed my nerves. I am not proud of this but I was done. I wanted it to be 3:10.

Then it happened.

I put my iPad down, looked out at 24 faces looking back at me and I knew I had to have an attitude adjustment if we had any chance of saving the day. I looked at them and told them I was having a bad day and how it started (I didn't tell them specifics). I then asked them, "How are you?" Silence. I repeated my question. Twice. Then a few students responded with one of the phrases from above. I asked them again. This time they all answered. Then I asked again and they were louder. Then they asked me. With glee I answered, "I am better for knowing you!" It choked me up and it changed our day.

 I love my munchkins. I am blessed to have them in my life. Yes, even on the difficult days. Yes, I am truly blessed. I am indeed better for knowing them - each and every one of them.

How do you turn a negative day around before it is all bad? Have you ever done a morning greeting similar to this one? If not, would you be willing to try it? Let me know in the comments below. I am sure you will find that it is a powerful way to start your day.


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