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A Nice Start To The Day

by Steve Cox, February 11, 2004

When I taught Grade three, the day began with a welcome, a short discussion with many of my students and then a morning devotional. Students shared with me their prayer requests and we would start the day praying. I would introduce our day by going over the organization of the day’s events. Students would have an opportunity to turn in homework, permission slips, book orders, etc. The joke of the day was often repeated many times at recess and later at home. If it was a Monday, I took time to lay out the entire week. I could pique their interest in many new subjects. It helped the students feel at ease about the week, look forward to special events and it helped them develop a strategic work ethic for their educational success. Together, we reduced fear of the unknown, enjoyed the shared goal of working toward classroom rewards and achieved a relaxed classroom community atmosphere. It was a nice way to ease into the day. They were bright-eyed and eager as we prayed, planned and interacted as a class.

If a student came late, they would miss the opportunity to take part in the classroom “community.” They would often be unprepared for special events. They missed homework deadlines and had to rush right into their seatwork, which they were already behind in. If it was a new concept and they missed the introductory part of the lesson, they stared at the work and were stressed about not knowing how to do it. Compared to their peers, they were at an immediate disadvantage. Instead of chomping at the bit to get the work done, their anxiety would rise to frustration level. I would lament because this student missed my earlier zest, passion and energy for this material. Interest in the material wasn’t passed on. My teaching enthusiasm just could not be duplicated during that seatwork time for the late student. Teaching for this student became pointed and intense so I could get back to checking the progress of the other twenty workers. This was especially true if several students started wandering in at various times of the morning. Students who were late on a regular basis would make me wonder if their parents understood the unnecessary hardship their children were facing.

Thank-you for going that extra mile to ensure your child is on time for their day. With all the circumstances that could waylay you— transportation breakdowns, weather, traffic disruptions and the slow morning pace of children— it’s not easy, but your efforts will be rewarded. I assure you that this will set up your child for success. Their confidence will remain high as they take part in the introduction of their work expectations. Your commitment to this important part of the day builds in them a work ethic that they will carry with them long after they leave the school halls. Your engineering of the morning routine that gets them to school in a timely manner is a strong message to your child that their education is important enough to take seriously.

Steve Cox