Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Starting the Day Right!

How do you start your day?  Mine always starts with a smile and a good morning.  We can never let go of the power of a simple good morning whether you have had your coffee or not. I admit, I am a person who wakes up and hits the floor running, and I can been annoyingly cheerful in the morning.  I am never, however, too busy or too tired to not smile and say good morning although sometimes I just don't feel it!  It sets the tone for the day.   It sets the tone in your classroom.

At my first teaching job it was the expectation that the teacher greet the students at the door.  It was a habit cultivated during my first year when my supervising administrator, Susan Storch, came and prompted me to the door between classes.  I was busy as all high school teachers are during class changes, getting ready to transition for the next set of students.  For students who don't want to come to school or excited to learn, it communicates to them that someone is glad they are there. For me it was a simple way to gauge their readiness to learn and chat informally with them.

My English students decided that our morning routine would include the natural light of morning versus electricity since we had a gorgeous bay of windows without a view, but windows nonetheless. They based their decision after reading our article of the week (GallagherMaking Light of Sleep. They applied their discovery about blue light versus natural sunlight and decided that they could make one small change to make them more wakeful in class.

My last addition to getting the morning started right is having a personal playlist.  It is one that I play on the way to work, but I also created one with titles that my students earned.  We kept it clean and PG-13, but it added a little movement to our mornings.  It also allowed me to gather more insight about my students' interest and exposed students to a wide variety of genres.

Anyone of these three steps were simple additions to my hectic morning routines. How do you like to start your day or your early mornings with students?

Morning sky over the Caribbean Sea