How do you end each class when the bell rings?
I taught 8th grade, so my class periods lasted about 45-55 minutes. I know some of you are elementary teachers, and you have the kids all day long, so the question might be: How do you end each day?
I know sometimes, the class might be a little hectic, and you might be relieved when the bell rings for them to move on to their next class.
I’ve had those days.
I found it very important, however, to make sure the class didn’t leave without what I called a positive closing affirmation.
A closing affirmation is a statement that you make to the class that reminds them that you believe they are important.
It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. It can be a quick statement right before they pack up and leave.
“OK guys, there’s the bell. See you tomorrow. Don’t forget to do your homework. You are amazing. Good-bye.”
I wrote about a teacher in a previous post who actually gave kids high fives and hugs on their way out of a class. Now that is a closing affirmation!
She was actually the teacher who inspired the Amazing Teacher Podcast. You can hear her episode here.
I know we can’t close every class or even a day with a hug line, but I would encourage you to find a way to send your students off with some kind of reminder of how important they are to you.
You know that there are students who believe that they do not have any value. They come from poor home lives or they have feelings of inferiority.
Your positive closing affirmation could be that one time in their day when they feel special.
It would even be more valuable if you could identify those particular students, and make a personal affirmation just for them.
Yes, there were days when I didn’t feel like giving the class a closing affirmation. They weren’t the best class that day. I let them leave without saying anything.
On those days, I would invariably hear someone say, “What? No good-bye?”
I’ve learned that my “bad” days – when the kids were not the angels they’re supposed to be – were more my fault than theirs. I probably didn’t prepare a good enough lesson plan.
That should have not stopped me from sending them off with an affirmation.
That was just selfish on my part, and I regret those days.
In this post, I would like to encourage you to come up with a positive closing affirmation for your class(es). Make your kids feel special as they leave your room. It will be the last thing they hear as they leave your class, and that’s what they’ll take with them to the next class.
Most of your students probably don’t need it, and they probably won’t notice it, but I guarantee you that your little statement of appreciation will have a profound effect on those few kids who are feeling less than special.
Do you have examples of your closing affirmation?
I would love to hear about them.
Thank you for reading, tweeting and sharing these posts.
You are amazing!
Until next time, here’s to your Success in the Classroom!
I always stand at the door of my second grade classroom at the end of the day for a hug or high five but also go outside to where my class lines up in the morning to walk them in. I didn’t think too much about this until I received a note from a student several years ago.
Dear Mrs. S. I like your class. I like that you come see us in the morning. When I see you smile I know we will have a good day.
Since then, I haven’t missed a morning. We forget that our mood effects our students’ whole day.
“We forget that our mood effects our students’ whole day.” So true Dawn.
I love that comment about having a good day.
Thank you for the comment!
I teach university students. Regardless of the age, that positive closing affirmation is important. As for me, I find it’s positive for both student and teacher. In our culture at the university, there is an extra gesture. The students (since I’m female, the female students will do this) will come up to me at the end of class and hold out both hands (like in a handshake using both hands-we call it ‘salam’) and ask for blessings for the knowledge that I share with them. That is why I would always apologize in case I taught them wrong.