On the first day of school as a Second Grade teacher, I was really excited to be able to see all the kids I had known as Kindergarten students for the past few years on the first day of school. Having the classroom was at the start of the Second Grade hall meant all the Second and Third Grade students would have to walk past me.
Looking for a way to share my excitement with students, I hung a crudely drawn sign on my door. “Welcome Back to School. Free Hugs Here!” The first year, it was just written on paper. Later that year, I realized I could plan ahead and make visually appealing sign on my computer.
So I did! The sign has gone through many upgrades over the years to better accommodate touch preferences… I’m a hugger, but I know not everyone is.
Was it cheesy? Yes, yes it was!
Did I care? No, no I didn’t!
Did students LOVE it? Yes! Yes! Yes! They loved it! They smiled. They came in for hugs and handshakes. Even students I had not previously taught came over for a little love and reinforcement on their first day of Second or Third Grade.
Welcome Back to School FREE Sign
Click on the image below for your FREE sign!
How Did I Use The Welcome Back To School Sign?
The way my school is set up, each grade level is on a different hall. The Second Grade hall leads to the Third Grade hall, so all Third Grade students have to walk down the hall to get to the Third Grade hall. It is an expectation that teachers are standing in the doorway to help monitor students in the hall as well as in their classroom.
I put the sign inside a page protector with a piece of stiff cardboard so it would stay firm. Some years, I taped it to the top of the doorway and stood underneath the sign. Some years, I taped it at students eye level.
How do you encourage students in your school on the first day of school? Tell me in the comments or email me at email@example.com!