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MmeD MmeD is offline
 
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Greeting Students at the Door
Old 08-02-2013, 07:36 AM
 
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Hello! I'm about to begin my second year teaching. On the very first day of school, I plan on greeting each student in a somewhat detailed exchange. In addition to saying hello, I will ask for their schedule to see their name, to check them off as being present on my attendance, to check that they are at the right place and the right time, and to ask if they have any nicknames, etc. Then, I need to tell them where to sit (I'll have the desks marked with numbered post-its) and finally, I'll give them quick instructions to pick up the bellringer sheet and syllabus on the way in and then to begin the bellwork (which will be up on the screen). I think it would be nice to do this because I am individually meeting each student, letting them know they're in the right place so they're not worried they went to the wrong classroom, not wasting time in class calling roll or giving them a seating chart, and they're getting to work right away. However, I will have the 6 minute passing period to greet all 20+, maybe 30+ (sometimes I have large classes) of my students. Although they'll have an assignment to get started on once they sit down, I'm worried students are going to line up, I'll get flustered, and by the time all students have entered it'll be 10 minutes after the bell has rung! Has anyone done all this at the door on the first day? How did it go? Any suggestions? Sorry for the long post but thanks in advance for any help!


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I'm not a high school teacher
Old 08-02-2013, 09:21 AM
 
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but I would think it would be ok to do this. If they have something to work on when they come it, it shouldn't matter if some are still in the hall when the bell rings. You'll be greeting them and in the hall with them so they won't be late. Don't get flustered, greet each kid, have them do the start up work, when they are all in the room, take a deep breath, refocus yourself, and get on with the rest of your class period. I think that they will appreciate the chance to talk to you for those few seconds.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:41 AM
 
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How do you plan on assigning seats? Can you leave a large sheet of chart paper on the board with a seating assignment diagram and a message to get started right away on their assignment? Also what about those students who were first to enter and finish the assignment quickly while you're still greeting students?
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:46 AM
 
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I probably would have the kids come in and start on the bell ringer and then while they are working...do other stuff you were talking about! With your plan I know I would get flustered!
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Greet at the door
Old 08-02-2013, 10:27 AM
 
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I always greet my students at the door. What I'll do on the first day is greet them at the door, instruct them to look at the seating chart (on the smart board), try and find their seat, and begin working on a student interest sheet. As they are working, I'll speak with each student individually. This way all students will be in my classroom - I'll be able to keep an eye on what's happening.


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Greeting at the door.
Old 08-02-2013, 02:02 PM
 
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I think that sounds like a lot to get done at the door.
I would greet them and check their schedule to make sure they are in the right place. Then ask them to check the seating chart, find their seat, and start on the work listed on the board.
I actually think greeting them at the door is a great thing to do on a regular basis. (I also catch the skippers who are walking right past the door instead of coming in!)
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:39 PM
 
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I've tried this before and you get a line out your door and then other kids passing by think something interesting is happening and try to look and see what is going on and some will try to just bypass the line and go inside, not realizing that you're doing all of that at the door.

I would greet them at the door asking their name and introducing yourself and get them started with the bell ringer. While they're doing that, you can check attendance, get nicknames, etc.

After you know them all (for me it takes a few weeks - I'm terrible with names), it will be much easier to greet them and take attendance at the front door because you already know their names so you can check them off as you greet them.

I've gotten flustered trying to do all of this at the front door the first day. I'd keep it simple.
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Good Idea
Old 08-03-2013, 05:58 PM
 
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Yes, I like the idea, and I've done it. As others have mentioned, though, you may need to streamline the process. You will get a line at the door, and (depending on the class) you also need to be concerned about what those already in the room are doing while you're greeting the newcomers.

Caveats:

1. The best laid plans... If your high school is anything like mine, there will be a lot of timetable changes, so all your hard work assigning seating and getting things organized may get shaken up rather quickly. Just be flexible, and it should be okay.

2. Being uberorganized (I'm generally the same way) may (again, depending on the class) incline some of non-conformists to try to push your buttons early on and test your limits. If they don't know what to make of you, they'll usually bide their time for a couple days to a week (the honeymoon period), but if you push them early (i.e. beginning a routine immediately, expecting work right away -- both great practices), they may push back.

For example, in my second year teaching high school, I assigned the seats before the students arrived. Several students in a particularly challenging class took exception to my putting decisive expectations in place on the first day. They often expect a loosy-goosy, "Sit where you want for today -- we're just going over the course outline" on the first day.

I had sticky taped the names on the desks and said, "Find your name and sit in your assigned seat. If your name doesn't appear, sit in a desk with no sticky and we'll sort it out. Thanks." As I was greeting students at the door, I heard mutinous grumbling from inside the classroom. I looked over to see students pulling the sticky notes off the desks and playing mix and match so they could sit with their friends. I called over, "Excuse me. Please don't move the sticky notes. You need to sit in the desk I've earmarked for you." There were four desks without sticky notes, but about ten students lurking around them. Sure enough, many of them had assigned desks, but didn't want to sit where I had placed them, so acted as though their names didn't appear.

A few of them (again, this was a tough class, not typical) tried to play chicken with me, refusing to sit where I had asked them, arguing that it didn't matter where they sat. I refused to begin teaching until everyone was where I had asked them to be, and two young men sat defiantly in the back with their arms crossed across their chests, refusing to sit where my master list said they should be. One told me he wasn't moving because I hadn't given him a good enough reason why he couldn't stay where he was. I stood, eyebrows raised expectantly and repeated the instruction to sit where they were assigned. Finally, other students started saying, "Oh my God! Just sit in your desk so we can start!" and so on. One blinked first and capitulated to my request. The other stomped out in a huff and presumably marched down to Guidance to switch out of my class. Good riddance. If he couldn't follow a simple directive like "Find your name and sit there"...

Now that's a worst-case scenario. Most of the time, a clearly defined routine established on Day 1 is your best bet for success. Just expect the unexpected and have a contingency plan.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:48 AM
 
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I would greet them and check their schedule. I would project further instructions once they are in the room to find their seats and take a bellringer and syllabus. Maybe on the bellringer you could have them write their nickname and share it with you later
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thanks!
Old 08-05-2013, 06:50 AM
 
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Thanks everyone! Last year as a first year teacher on the first day everything was so chaotic so I feel the need to be extremely organized this year. Although it is important to do all the things I mentioned, I agree it's a lot. I plan on taking some of your suggestions to make things easier!

I also do plan on greeting students at the door every day, not just the first day. But saying a quick hello to a student I already know won't be difficult or time-consuming. It's the first day that's stressing me! However, I feel a bit better now with a more realistic plan due to these ideas. Thanks again!


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Old 08-10-2013, 07:24 AM
 
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Pretty much agree with everyone else - greet, check schedule, let them sit to work on bellringer. Tell them to look at the smartboard for their seat assignment. Talk to them individually while they are doing work.
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seating chart
Old 08-10-2013, 08:05 AM
 
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I would say hello at the door and tell them to look at the seating chart and take their seat and begin bell work. If their name is on the seating chart then they are probably in the right place. As they are working walk the room greet each student and double check their schedules to see if the office added any students to your class. No line out the door, no need to get flustered and you still get everything done that you wanted.
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greeting at the door
Old 09-08-2013, 01:27 PM
 
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I have been greeting the students at the door for years. I still do it EVERY DAY. Some even begin to greet me in return. I think your plan was great. HOW did it all turn out?
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