I don't think I've written about my new project at school, which I lovingly think of as Operation Make the Children Think I've Lost My Mind.
Every morning, I have hall duty, which means(as I've mentioned before)that I stand in the hall as the kids head to class and try to keep them from thundering in the halls like so many stampeding rhinos.
Because I'm me, I decided early on that I was going to rock hall duty. One of the first things I added was to tell children with overdue books that they were welcome to drop off their overdues with me in the morning, as they go to class. This works beautifully for a few reasons. First, it allows me to me super-excited when they bring their books back. I like to think that this reinforces their desire to be responsible when it comes to returning their books, because bringing them back is connected to a positive. I got some positive feedback for this the other day when I heard someone who had a long-overdue book coming down the hall and telling their classmate, "She is going to be SO proud of me!!" just before she handed back her book.
This policy also works well because once one kid turns in their book, others see the book and are reminded to check their bookbag--all without my saying anything.
The other piece I added to hall duty was a veritable volley of "Good morning!" as children come down the hall. I try to make eye contact with as many as I can, smile broadly, and greet everyone coming down the hallway with "Good morning!" I add names when I can, especially when it's a child who seems down or unhappy or just overlooked.
Now, the kids already think I'm nuts because I sing "Stop running, please! Thank you!" when someone gets going too quickly. There's a reason for that--I sing much more loudly than I speak. Plus, since the kids aren't really used to just hearing someone burst out in song, they do tend to hesitate and slow down (allowing me to compliment their good choice--another positive).
So what's my new project? This week, I was talking to Chris about how one brother and sister had started saying, "Good afternoon," when they would see me, just to see what I'd do. He said, "You should really flip the kids out and say good morning in another language."
I thought this was awesome, so I talked to the ENL teacher, who had a list of how to say "Hello" in different languages. Next, I got permission from the principal to hang a poster in the hallway, explaining what I want to do.
Yesterday morning, the kids were greeted with, "Bonjour!" When they looked up to figure out what I was doing, they saw the poster, with its interchangeable pieces. Little do they know that every week, it will be "Hello" in a new language. Now, to decide what next week's will be...