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1-5 minutes


Primary / Junior / Intermediate




To acknowledge and welcome students and show them that they are valued, to celebrate diversity and uniqueness, and to model the importance of taking time for relationship building at school

Greet students each day as they come into the school/class and during transitions (e.g., coming in from recess).

Greetings may include:

  • Apply the 5 x 10 rule:
    • If someone is within 10 feet, make eye contact and smile.
    • If they are within five feet, say hi!
  • Say “hello” in a different language every week and have everyone join in.
  • Greet students using their first language.
  • Use a visual prompt/poster with different types of greetings and let students choose (e.g., fist bump, handshake, smile, dance, high five). Post it at entrance to classroom.

Video: Teacher greets students with unique handshakes

  • Take time to brainstorm creative ways to greet one another.
  • Ask students how they would like to be greeted, let them choose the language and/or action.

Students benefit from knowing that they matter to an adult as well as their peers. Encouraging students to develop relationships with both staff and students will set them on the path of increased connectedness at school and create opportunities for increased learning, skill development and the overall benefits from healthy relationships (Bergin & Bergin, 2009; Roorda, et. al., 2011; McNeely & Falci, 2004).

Bergin, C., & Bergin, D. (2009). Attachment in the classroom. Educational Psychology Review, 21(2), 141-170.

McNeely, C., & Falci, C. (2004). School connectedness and the transition into and out of health-risk behavior among adolescents: A comparison of social belonging and teacher support. The Journal of School Health, 74(7), 284-92.

Roorda, D. L., Koomen, H. M., Spilt, J. L., & Oort, F. J. (2011). The influence of affective teacher–student relationships on students’ school engagement and achievement: A meta-analytic approach. Review of educational research, 81(4), 493-529.