Our family welcomed a new member for the 2018-2019 school year: Sunny from Norway. We are so excited to link lives with Sunny and set off on this leg of the journey. It will be an adventure.

We spent time preparing for our first meeting — we wanted her to feel like she belonged the moment she met us. Although we’ve been in touch for the past several months, the first in-person greeting mattered.

We prepared a welcome sign and stood together near the terminal exit so she wouldn’t miss us. She spotted us as she came down the escalator and smiled wide. The moment she reached us, the hug train began.

Greetings matter. They set the stage for what’s to come and they have the potential to send the message all humans need to hear —


Take some time to consider the greeting you will offer your students and co-workers this year. Here are some things to consider:

  • Names are important. Check and quadruple check the spellings. Then make sure you know how to properly pronounce each person’s name. If you are making special tags, have extras in order to be able to add new names or correct misspelled or shortened versions of names.
  • Plan a written greeting. There is longevity that comes with print materials. This doesn’t mean that a video greeting and a verbal greeting aren’t important, it just means having a greeting that can be touched and seen helps develop a community.
  • Think about your first greeting and then the daily greetings that follow. Don’t forget the opportunities for special greetings when returning from extended weekends or holidays. What kind of tone do you want to set with your students and co-workers? Consider how your greeting can impact the tone.

We’d love for you to share your ideas for greetings in the comments. How will you welcome students on the first day and then each day following? Here’s to another year filled with adventures!



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