The little things matter in life and certainly matter in a classroom. It is these little things the speak volumes for who we are as teachers. Often times these are overlooked and can manifest into large and significant problems for teachers. Here is a list of little things that I see daily which send a big message.
Classroom Door – Is your classroom door open or closed when you are teaching? What does this say about you and your classroom? Are you trying to hide something? My door is always open and I welcome anyone to stop in and see what is going on. I have nothing to hide and everything to share.
Hello – Do you greet each of your students when they come into your classroom? Do you say hello to students in the halls even if they are not in your classroom? This is such a simply thing but goes a long way to make a student feel welcome and can be a step in building a positive relationship.
Call Parents – When do you call/email parents? Do you contact parents for positives as well as negatives? I try to contact five parents a week for positive comments. Sometimes, just a “hey, your kid is doing great,” means a great deal to a parent. Call early, call often, and work on building that positive relationship early in the year.
Comments on Work – What sort of comments do you leave on student’s work? Is there just a letter or a number on the top of your student’s work? Are you leaving anecdotal feedback aimed at improving their learning? Grades are not feedback…if you truly want a student to learn and grow feedback must facilitate that.
What are the little things in your classroom that are making a difference?