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Multiple times daily



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

  • Provide context for the practice (see “Evidence” section).
  • Greet students each day as they come into the school/class and during transitions.
  • Greetings may include:
    • Greeting students by name and/or in their first language.
    • Say “hello” in a different language every week and have everyone join in.
    • Ask students about something in their day.
  • 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!
  • Encourage students to use the practice throughout their own day.

Video: Teacher greets students with unique handshakes

Students benefit from knowing that they matter to an adult, as well as to 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 learning and skill development (Bergin & Bergin, 2009; Roorda, et. al., 2011; McNeely & Falci, 2004). Furthermore, experiencing pleasant greetings and friendly physical and verbal gestures on a frequent basis positively impacts politeness, social status, perceptions of safety, while reducing incidents of aggression and hostility (Embry & Biglan, 2008). Lastly, the display of frequent daily greetings increases social support for and the sense of belonging of students which ultimately, leads to increased engagement and academic motivation within school (McNeely & Falci, 2004).

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

Embry, D. D., & Biglan, A. (2008). Evidence-based kernels: fundamental units of behavioral influence. Clinical child and family psychology review, 11(3), 75–113. doi:10.1007/s10567-008-0036-x

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.