Intentional Morning Greetings
As the children returned to school, our emphasis was on being supportive and developing a positive relationship with each child. The children had been at home for many months and then returned to a school that looked very different. To help them make this transition, the children returned to the class that they had left in March before being introduced to their new class with new teachers.
We worked on welcoming them back by developing a secure and trusting relationship, knowing each child’s strengths and challenges, their interests, and how they interacted with their friends and teachers.
We worked to create a predictable morning routine with all the teachers outside every morning to greet the children as they arrived at school. After signing in, leaving their parents at the gate was new for the children but having their teachers there to hold their hands gave them the support, care, and confidence they needed to say and wave “Goodbye!” as they walked together to their class.
The teachers created special individual moments with the children as they arrived and made important connections with their parents as well. We greeted each family with a smile that helped to set the tone for the day. Our smiles told the children we were happy they were back and that they belonged. We greeted them with their name and this showed the child that their new teacher knew who they were and welcomed them to their new class.
As the days went on, we made sure to mention something that had happened the day before, such as a toy the child had enjoyed playing with or a comment the child had made about something they were going to do with their family. This told the child that the teacher paid attention, listened, and cared about them.
Morning greetings might only last a few minutes but we know how valuable they are in helping to build positive, trusting relationships with each child. Parents can see and hear these greetings every morning -- and more importantly, they can feel the warmth and love that all the teachers share with the children. This cherished daily ritual provides lasting memories of a wonderful preschool experience.