A threshhold is a place or point of entering or beginning.
Being at the threshold of your classroom between periods can be one of the most beneficial moves you make each day.
An initial exchange at the doorway—a quick “Good afternoon,
Val”; “Good afternoon, Mr. Hagedorn” accompanied by eye contact and
perhaps a nod, handshake, or fist-bump—connects teacher and student and
creates a safe, friendly, humane context for the period.
While you greet each other you can:
- “Read” the mood and emotions of each student and help
them prepare for class
- Direct students to information they
need to get started
- Quickly check in with a student to acknowledge
something that happened recently, welcome him back from absence, and/or
remind her of an expectation
- Take attendance, which saves a little time for teaching
- Keep track of who is arriving in plenty of time and who
is cutting it close
While you’re at the threshold you can:
- Keep an eye on both your classroom
and the hallway
- Greet passing students who are not
on their way
into your class
- Encourage students to hurry along to their next class
as the passing period winds down
- Quickly confer with your colleagues who are also standing
at their thresholds
- Briefly socialize with colleagues and/or
Other benefits of standing at the threshold:
- Students perceive you as prepared,
calm, confident, and caring
- Bullying and other anti-social
behavior can be detected and stopped
- The hallway becomes safer and quieter, and tardiness diminishes.
Greet each student at your classroom’s threshold and set the stage for a great hour of learning! Let us know how it goes.
Chris Hagedorn is the co-author of Classroom Discipline: Guiding Adolescents to Responsible Independence.
Posted September 2013