One really fabulous thing that has happened during Covid is our drop off procedure. Every year we start with great intentions to do greetings with children as soon as they come in but many times our attention is elsewhere in the room with children that are already present. When parents are with the children sometimes it feels awkward and children refuse. Since I am coming to the car to get children now it gives me the perfect opportunity to consistently give a greeting .
There’s a difference between a routine and a ritual. Routines are things you do every day like get up and brush your teeth or take a bath at night . Think also about holidays. At holidays you all gather together – that is a routine. When you were all together and held hands and said what you are thankful for – that is a ritual. Many times we can use rituals to connect with children but they have to include four key components. There must be eye contact , touch, presence , and a playful setting. As a young mom I am certain that there are many mornings I said “good morning” to my children without a touch, eye contact or being present and certainly without a playful attitude. The only huge rule with a ritual is that the only goal is to create an authentic connection. Having rituals that build authentic connections with children is a key component to classroom management. When you build relationships with children the respect comes without being demanded.
Think about going into a store or through a drive-through and the employee says “have a good day” but they never slow down, they never look at you or anything. Do you feel valued? Or do you realize they just said it because it is expected and part of their business lingo?
Have you ever seen a child that will not give eye contact? Have you ever seen a child that shies away from a hug? Think about when you are angry with your spouse. They walk in the room and you do everything you can to avoid eye contact. You do not want connection. This is what children that are relationship resistant do. As teachers it’s our job, it’s my job, to figure out a way to build that connection so they feel safe enough to trust.
Some rituals that we already have in place are :
Songs during family time
Wish you well
My plan this year since I know it is going to be a great year is to add a ritual greeting every morning and add some new rituals throughout our year.
Can I challenge you to slow down and
1. Have eye contact
2 Be present
3. Have physical touch
4 Be playful.
We can do this. Let’s conscious discipline the heck out of this year. ❤️