Missed opportunity

I’m home today. An unexpected circumstance caused me to miss a day of school. The bright side, I got to bundle up all three of my girls and walk Wren to school. I hardly ever get to be the one to bring her to school, to give her a hug before her school day begins, to watch her backpack disappear as she enters the school building.

As I kissed her goodbye, she walked around the double stroller to say goodbye to her sisters. We watched her walk through the door, right past four adults. I watched, curious to see if they knew her name. How would they greet the kids entering the building after the weekend?

They didn’t. They never even glanced her way, just kept chatting with each other. Wren just kept walking, eyes focused ahead. Her eyes didn’t light up the way they used to at her old school where the teachers greeted her right at the car door, helping her out and to get her backpack on. My heart sank.

On the walk home, I tried to brush off the disappointed feeling I was left with. Maybe they usually do greet the kids. Someone will greet her when she gets inside. It’s not that big a deal Jess… let it go.

But it is a big deal. One of my favorite quotes from Responsive Classroom comes from a section on Morning Meeting. “It matters that you came.” I want the students at my school to know that they matter and I want the same for my own kids at school.

Small gestures like greeting kids by name or with a smile can help them to know that they belong and that their presence is significant. Kids are also always watching and learning from our example. I’m always conscious of what I’m teaching through the way I interact with students and adults. Today, maybe more than ever, I truly believe that the social curriculum is just as important as the academic.

Today when Wren gets home I’ll talk to her about how she can say good morning to the adults as she enters the building. Maybe the change I hope to see starts with me and with Wren. Perhaps the next time I get to bring her to school, I’ll see her face light up as she is the one to greet the adults and they’ll know it matters that they came.

16 thoughts on “Missed opportunity

  1. This makes me so sad. I agree with you to the nth degree that we MUST use names when we greet kids, teachers, parents – using a name, makes one know you are glad they came but it also let’s them know they matter. Your slice has such highs and lows and leaves me feeling hopeful! Thanks for sharing and you were missed today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for making me feel significant. ❤️ Wren is in on the social experiment and we have our research question…what happens when kids say good morning to adults?!? Thought you’d like that! We can’t wait to find out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such an important post! I had that same experience when I started at my school–walked right past folks in the hallway, who didn’t even stop to ask who I was or if I needed help finding anything. Set the tone for the first few weeks of my job. It makes a difference for grownups, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It does matter! I think your final reflection is the truth and what you need to remember as a parent – the only person you have the power to change is yourself. You are teaching Wren that and she will be a stronger more compassionate person for it. Thank you for the wake-up call to all of us this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So sad that Wren’s school day stared that way, but, like you, I hope that is not the norm and if it is hopeful that she can make a change. SO much of teaching and learning is in the details. Thanks for noticing this opportunity for change.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Like the others before I felt both sad for your little one, and upset with the grownups (?) who should know better. I guess kids aren’t the only ones losing their social skills. What about an anonymous note to the Principal telling the same story with no names? Your little girl is lucky to have you helping her learn to deal with how “clueless” people can sometimes be.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, just so you know, your slice did change some people’s days. In the hall this morning, I walked up to three fifth graders who I knew by sight but not by name. They live across the hall, and they’re never in my class, but it seemed ridiculous that I don’t know them by name. I introduced myself. I passed each of them several times today and was really happy that I could greet them by name. I predict that your experiment with Wren will have a similar ripple effect, even if it ripples in an unexpected direction.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My previous role had me greeting the students at the door each morning. I loved saying hello and how are you each morning. I knew many students by name and was able to connect with children outside of the classroom. This greeting can set the tone for the day!
    I was happy you taught your daughter to say hello – a way to help make this situation right! Can’t wait to hear more!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Children are so open and wanting our attention and care. It breaks my heart to hear the adults aren’t paying attention. I’m glad you got to take Wren to school. And I’m sure this won’t be the end of this conversation.


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