Four At The Door

A method for teachers to increase active engagement in their classrooms by 20%.

Adapted from Joe Ehrmann's book, Insideout Coaching: How Sports can Transform Lives, where he gives specific tools for coaches, including intentionally connecting with every athlete before they hit the practice field or court everyday

Eye to Eye

As you greet at the door in between class periods, before school, or after school be intentional in the hallways to role model what it looks like to make good eye contact with not only your students entering your classroom, but other students passing in the hallway as well. If a student isn’t making eye contact with you, acknowledge them by greeting them with a positive statement, whether they receive it or not.

Name to Name

One of the number one relationship strategies that an educator can role model for students is what it looks like to ask someone what their name is, what it looks like to work hard at learning names, and the humility required to ask someone again if you do not remember their name. Once you have a students name, both in your classroom as well as others passing your door in the morning, role model using their name when speaking with them or when they pass by you during the day. Leadership Lesson #1 = Names are Important!

Hand to Hand

Remember that human beings were built to be relational. It is all about relationships! With each student that comes through the door, find some form of appropriate human contact and intentionally connect. This could be a handshake, fist bump, hi-five, or some other form of creative hand to hand greeting.

Heart to Heart

Each and everyday that your students come to your classroom, work hard to connect with as many students as possible first as human beings, before they enter your classroom as a student. This could be through asking a question about their weekend or something that you know they are passionate about or interested in.

Note - Research shows that if teachers greet at their door consistently using the strategies above and then have an entry task ready to go for when a student sits down that on average they will increase the active engagement in an hour long class by 20% which equals out to approximately 12min!


About the Author

John is the Whole Child Program Administrator and Director of Student Leadership for the Sumner School District, a Servant Leadership trainer, and motivational speaker. He was Washington Advisor of the Year and taught 5 leadership classes per semester for 10 years at Sumner High School.