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Hugs and High-Fives

SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak – The Spokesman-Review

There is a certain routine that occurs in most peoples’ day-to-day lives – a Bill Murray “Ground Hog Day” effect, if you will. We wake up, check our phone, get dressed, check our phone, eat breakfast, fast-track to work, check our phone, watch the clock, punch-out, fast-track home, dinner, down-time and off to bed…..Am I close? A day-to-day that runs fairly smooth, with little worry, confusion or heartache.

BUT, for some of our kiddos at the elementary level, the “Ground Hog Day” effect can take on different molds. Waking up might be by big brother who needs to get the household up in order to get himself off to high school because mom works swings and was out of the house before the sun came up. Getting dressed may consist of yesterday’s clothes lying on a floor, wondering where that other sock went. Breakfast could vary from Doritos and donuts to soda and cookies. AND the trek to school may consist of limited options – including brother’s beat-up ’89 Honda Civic, with phone books for booster-seats and only a short commute or the real mile walk, up the steep hill in the snow before the school bell rings.

BUT, once they enter through the school’s doors, a theme music overtakes the blurred morning prep and offers an over-arching feeling of comfort, caring and learning. This is the moment that we as education turn-styles create the best part of their days. Routine that allows for fluid movement in a variety of directions. An environment that revolves around them and the forward progress we shape. It allows for the relationships we build and develop over a span of grades. It gives the hugs and high-fives that bring smiles to their faces and a sense of love and belonging to their hearts.

Have you hugged or high-fived one of your students today?


About mountainteacher

Tech-Minded Elementary Assistant Principal who is learning, reflecting and collaborating. Husband, Daddy, Adventurer, Balance - #mtnliving #summit4stemcell


2 thoughts on “Hugs and High-Fives

  1. High fives and unconditional love are what so many of our students need and crave. No matter the behavior or academic performance, our students need to know they matter and we care for them. Keep kissing pigs! The kids will never forget how they feel about the environment in your school!

    Posted by Dave Meister (@phsprincipal) | February 10, 2012, 10:44 pm
  2. Hey Adam… hugs and high fives indeed. I spend the first half hour of everyday ding just that. When I arrive at school I first put out the pylons and safety signs that help channel kids and their parents safely to school, and that’s when the hugs and high fives begin for me. I stay out until after the bell goes so I can catch the late ones too. Often, but not always, these are the kids that have lived the perhaps less than traditional morning routine you describe. It’s about building culture for me; a culture of belonging for everyone in our school.

    On a side note, I was one of those older brothers you refer to as a kid. My mom, (bless her heart,) left for her first job at 6:00 AM for a 40 min. drive to the city, and then to her second job at 4:30 on the other side of the city, not returning home until around 9:30 or 10:00 PM. A single mom, she did what she had to do to keep us out of the soup line. Like all resilient kids, I searched for teachers who would look out for me and my siblings, and that didn’t always mean with pity. They kept us in line and didn’t let our situation dictate our learning path. We all have a cultural tail wagging behind us, and it should never dictate what happens in front of us.

    Cheers mate. Great reflection.

    Posted by graingered | February 11, 2012, 1:25 pm

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Adam Truitt



Tech-Minded Elementary Assistant Principal who is learning, reflecting and collaborating. Husband, Daddy, Adventurer, Balance - #mtnliving #summit4stemcell

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