Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dancing Right from the Start

     September is here and the dance begins again.  We don't know each other yet, so we dance around each other, trying to decide who will lead and who will follow.  It is exhausting at first, but if we do it right, we will dance through the year in perfect sync and the year will be a joy for all of us.  If we do it right.
     The dance begins from the first moment they meet you on the first day.  First impressions are so important.  Do you smile?  Do you share your passion for what you do?  Do you welcome them?  Do you make them feel excited for a whole year with you?
     How would you feel walking into a room where no one welcomes you or seems happy you are there or starts telling you how hard it will be and how much work lies ahead?  It doesn't motivate me or make me feel excited or want to return the next day.
     When I am in a place that feels welcoming, surrounded by people that care about me, and I have fun, challenging things to look forward to, I am happy.  It is the same information, but it is a totally different feel for the students.
    Kids who are excited for the things you have planned or love you, will do anything for you, no matter how hard the task.  They are people.  People first.  Students second.  When you forget that difference, your students start treating you the same way.  They model the behavior they see.  Dress up, laugh, plan some of your favorite activities for the first days, and celebrate the first day together.  It makes all the difference later in the year.  Enjoy your dance!