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A Hug Line – Giving Students a Moment of Value

I just saw the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in a classroom.

I was delivering a report to a teacher – we’ll call her Jackie, and I decided to wait until the bell rang, so I wouldn’t have to interrupt her class.

The bell rang, and I stepped aside to avoid getting run over by all the students rushing out of for new teachers - moment of value

To my surprise, the door didn’t open for about 30 seconds. The students started filing out slowly. I took the opportunity between some exiting students to enter the classroom.

That’s when I saw it, and it was amazing!

There was a line of students waiting to exit, but before they left the room, the teacher was giving each student a hug and giving them a word of encouragement.

I was shocked.

In the 23 years of teaching, I’ve seen teachers give the occasional hug here and there, but I have never seen a line of middle school students getting their hug on the way out of a classroom.

The students were actually waiting for their turn to get a hug.


Not any teacher can do this.

You need be a teacher who is sincere in your love and concern for your students – all your students.

Anybody can love the lovable.

It’s the students who are unlovable that need the most attention, and those teachers who can see beyond the defiance and attitude of the unlovable student will make the most difference in their lives.

Each student in this teacher’s class left that room feeling valued, if only by one person.

You never know what a student is going through, but giving every student a moment of value can be just what he/she needs to face the rest of the day.

As a male teacher, I would never be able to pull this off. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it is.

I do remember doing everything I could however, to make my students feel important as often as I could, but I know it wasn’t as consistent as it could have been.

I would encourage any new teacher out there to make it a point to have that HUG LINE as your students leave your class – maybe not an actual line like the teacher I observed today, but at least a symbolic one where you take some specific action to let your students feel that moment of value before they leave your class.

Today I witnessed an amazingly refreshing teaching moment.  I wish I had a teacher like this when I was in middle school. I wish all my son’s teachers were like this teacher. We all need these moments of value.

Way to go Jackie!

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