Hugs and High-Fives

SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak - The Spokesman-Review

There is a certain routine that occurs in most people’s day-to-day lives – a Bill Murray “Ground Hog Day” effect, if you will. We wake up, check our phone, get dressed, check our phone, eat breakfast, fast-track to work, check our phone, watch the clock, punch-out, fast-track home, dinner, down-time and off to bed…..Am I close? A day-to-day that runs fairly smooth, with little worry, confusion or heartache.

BUT, for some of our kiddos at the elementary level, the “Ground Hog Day” effect can take on different molds. Waking up might be by big brother who needs to get the household up in order to get himself off to high school because mom works swings and was out of the house before the sun came up. Getting dressed may consist of yesterday’s clothes lying on a floor, wondering where that other sock went. Breakfast could vary from Doritos and donuts to soda and cookies. AND the trek to school may consist of limited options – including brother’s beat-up ’89 Honda Civic, with phone books for booster-seats and only a short commute or the real mile walk, up the steep hill in the snow before the school bell rings.

BUT, once they enter through the school’s doors, a theme music overtakes the blurred morning prep and offers an over-arching feeling of comfort, caring and learning. This is the moment that we as education turn-styles create the best part of their days. Routine that allows for fluid movement in a variety of directions. An environment that revolves around them and the forward progress we shape. It allows for the relationships we build and develop over a span of grades. It gives the hugs and high-fives that bring smiles to their faces and a sense of love and belonging to their hearts.

Have you hugged or high-fived one of your students today?

7 Comments

  1. Anne said:

    Yes I have, but thanks for reminding me to do it each and every day!! I work in a low socioeconomic school and this is 50% of our students. This was very touching and I am sharing with my staff!

    February 28, 2012
    Reply
    • atruitt said:

      Right on Anne! Touching base with our students on their level, 1:1 is so powerful. AND something as simple as a quick compliment, hug or high-five, can make the connection and send them throughout their day with smiles. Thanks for the kind words, comments and the sharing with your staff.

      Adam

      February 29, 2012
      Reply
    • Mary Ryan said:

      I sure have and do! I do ask if it is alright to give them a hug. Makes the teacher and student feel good!
      Mary

      March 31, 2012
      Reply
  2. Pam Thompson said:

    Actually, I have – several of them. You have so succinctly reminded us of the fact that school and the teachers there may be the only stability in some children’s lives and that we can make a difference to how they view their day. Thank you.

    February 28, 2012
    Reply
    • atruitt said:

      Nice Pam! Absolutely correct! With so many kiddos walking down the halls these days, I find myself catching quick glimpses of their faces, appearance and body language to give me some kind of indication of how their day is going. These few signs can open up an opportunity for me to intercept and change their outlook, feeling or mood on the day. I love that kind of connection, knowing that I am not only apart of their school-day but giving them the sense that we are excited to have them in school, regardless of what might have occurred just minutes before.

      Thanks Pam!

      February 29, 2012
      Reply
  3. Jacqui Hills said:

    Absolutely an important message – I dont get to hug my students that often – maybe graduation at 17 perhaps but codes of conduct, often written out of fear stops me being able to do what you so succincly remind us is so important for our students – and I would say at any age! Some of my 12-17 year olds need it too.

    I used to say to my colleagues, we have to remember that for some of our students school is the only safe place they know and have, forever.

    A great posting, thanks

    February 28, 2012
    Reply
    • atruitt said:

      Yes Jacqui, fear, “code of conduct” and the media drive a lot of what we feel is an appropriate distance and or connection we can make with a child. A small number of people in a position of trust with children have shed a negative light on those of us that are trying to be the best part of our students’ days. Frankly, for years, I always hugged from the side or tried to intercept with a pat on the head, instead of a hug, due to what teachers or parents might think. Now, as an admin, I truly believe that we are the best part of so many of our students’ days AND so many of them need to feel loved, supported and connected with. SO, I say give them what they need and love them like they were your own.

      Thanks! Adam

      February 29, 2012
      Reply

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