Another year has passed and as I say goodbye to 2016 I began to think about how I say goodbye to my students.
A short time ago I talked about the importance of greeting my students every morning. Many years ago I used to also say goodbye to each of my kiddos. As I was reflecting on my teaching, I realized that this ritual was one of those things that I slowly stopped doing. No reason, in particular. It just faded away.
Just as I want to touch-in with each of my scholars as they come into my classroom, I want to touch-in with each kiddo as they leave. This reinforces that I care about them–just as we hug our friends and family goodbye. If one of my little friends had a rough day and then turned it around I can give a quick nod to their accomplishment. If, on the other hand, they’re day didn’t end so well, I can tell them, ever so quickly and quietly, that I know tomorrow they’ll do better. It isn’t all about my friends who have difficulties, though. I can give quick acknowledgements to my scholars for any number of reasons: how they helped another student, how they finished a tough assignment, and so on.
We say goodbye in one of three ways: a high five, a handshake, or a hug (the 3 h’s). A great by-product are the little rituals that begin to emerge. When I first started saying goodbye to my scholars years ago, I had a firstie who was so tiny he could barely carry all of his belongings. None of the 3 h’s worked for him. We ended up doing a pinky handshake. This year, one of my sweeties fell in love with “High Five Kitty Cat” on GoNoodle.com Now she HAS to give me 3 high fives and say “High Five Kitty Cat, High Five Kitty Cat, High Five Kitty Cat.” Some kiddos will change up their goodbye daily while others like to do the exact same goodbye.
The fist bump has now come into fashion. Personally I don’t particularly care for it. It’s just me, I know, but it feels so… impersonal–especially when I get greetings at church with one or when my adult son wants to say “goodbye” with one. There’s just so little physical contact. During the break I tried to re-think my position on the fist bump… ugh! Even though I really don’t like it, and haven’t used it, I’m going to give it a try. Maybe I’ll personalize it with the old fashioned explosion.
Are there any special rituals you like to include when you end your day? I would love to hear about them.
Happy New Year! I hope you and your family and your scholars have a great 2017 and I’m sending you all hugs!