“Good Morning, Mrs. Bless. How are you today?” Tom says with a smile. Sometimes he is wearing his heavy coat, bright orange stocking cap, and thick mittens. Some days he is holding an umbrella with his rain slicker and boots on. Not matter what, every single day, he greets me by name and with a cheery disposition. Every. Single. Day.
This simple salutation starts my day on a positive note. If it has been a particularly hectic morning, Tom’s demeanor reminds me to take a breath and welcome this day ahead of me, to welcome the possibility that this day holds. His positive tone prods me to address our students in the same manner when they enter the building. Greeting people with a smile and a “Good morning” does matter. The simple things are important.
In addition to his perky morning salutation, Tom says my name. That simple, acknowledgement means something. It says, I know you, you matter, you are important. Names are a struggle for me. I know a lot of people say that, but it bothers me when I don’t know someone’s name. I have recently moved from the role of a classroom teacher with 25 names to learn into the role of instructional coach with over 600 names to learn. I want to be able to walk down the hall and greet students by name. I know it is important. I’ve got some strategies I’m using to try to learn every name. Is is a slow process, but a worthy one.