How many of you need a cup of coffee to begin your day? I’d like to say that I am not addicted to my morning cup of coffee, but I am. My first cup comes at about 8:05 each morning without fail. Most days, I do something that does a better job of getting me going than a cup of coffee. I try to stand outside of our junior high building to welcome the 5th-8th graders who are arriving. I greet each student that comes in by name and with a handshake. It’s great to see student come out of the car with their hands full, and then shift all of their items (gym clothes, band instruments, art projects, or lunch bags) to their left hand because they know they have to shake my hand. “Good morning Mr. Creutz” is what they are all trained to say now as they shake my hand. As the weather has gotten cooler the past couple of weeks, I have begun to reply to them, “It’s a beautiful day… In Hawaii!” It brings a smile to their face, or a roll of the eyes, which begins my day better then the best coffee in the world can do.
The interesting thing about the “Hawaii” comment is that I use it because my principal in elementary school used the same phrase to welcome me. I rolled my eyes then, but it stuck with me. I didn’t realize it then, but he planted a seed that he never was able to see. His welcoming presence helped me to begin my day in a positive way. Never underestimate your influence on your students. Your words, your actions, and your concern are going to be remembered long after they leave your school