This self-appointed imperative is why I love the above clip so much. In just one minute and nineteen seconds, this teacher is doing something from which I’d contend that there’s significant return on investment. Her individualised handshake, personally communicated each day to her Grade 3 class, is a sign of a Teacher leveraging relationship for performance. This leveraging is something that all Teachers should aspire to do.
The clip makes me wonder about impact. Of course, I don’t know the answers for sure, but my experience, knowledge and intuition tend to have me answer “Yes” to each of:
- Is this ritual a signal for emotional students that they are entering a safe space?
- Would these students be more likely to engage for this Teacher?
- Will these students think twice about being rude, disrespectful or disruptive for this Teacher?
- Is this Teacher likely to be enjoying her work more than others?
- Are this Teacher’s energy levels, motivation and job satisfaction likely to be positively impacted?
- Could more learning happen within the walls of this classroom, just for this daily personal gesture?
If you’re “yessing” like me at these questions, then we should be asking why we aren’t doing this or something like it. It took a minute and nineteen seconds!
Big things like policy, funding, standards and curricula matter in education – but the cumulative nature of the little things will always determine the level to which they matter. There’s should always be time to shake hands in our classrooms. Always.
Free WEBINAR – Inclusive Schools
The most common metaphor we hear at Real Schools is that teaching these days is like spinning plates – there’s just so much to do! And while we all know that good work, like teaching, probably should be taxing – there’s something making the job of keeping those plates intact harder than ever before.
It’s diversity. It’s one thing to implement a program or even to just teach well with a homogenous class – but that class just doesn’t exist any more. Increasingly, your students are arriving with ESL backgrounds, with the effects of trauma, with ASD traits, with other behavioural challenges and with learning difficulties.
In this webinar, Jodie will unpack:
- What great practice looks like in a truly inclusive school.
- Clearly defining inclusivity and diversity for today’s teacher.
- The most effective inclusive practices to deploy across the school.
- The leadership imperative of inclusivity.
- Our school inclusivity journey so far and the future ahead of us.