Solid Morning Routine Or Bust
A sure-fire way to make yourself miserable is to skip the morning routine with your students.
If you are into misery and frustration or you want to be an ordinary teacher and do just enough to get by, well then skip the morning routine and stop reading now.
If you want to have an extraordinary classroom filled with happy adults and even happier children, then a solid, well run morning routine is a must. Keep Reading.
Always Room For Improvement
What’s your idea of a highly engaged, academically, and socially rigorous K/1 classroom?
What does it look like in your mind?
You can see it.
The kids are active, learning, happy. Everyone is well behaved.
The teacher’s energetic, full of smiles and laughter and can do an extraordinary job of engaging and teaching all students.
Excellence Demands Improvement
Then you look at your classroom, and you know that there’s room for improvement.
How do I know there’s room for improvement? If you talk to excellent teachers, who have been in the classroom for 20+ years, you will find out that they believe that they have room for improvement.
Yep, as an extraordinary teacher, there’s always something to learn.
Miracle Morning K/1 Routines?
There’s a popular book called the “Miracle Morning” in a nutshell it states that if you can control your morning and fill it with productive tasks and positive energy, it will set you up for a successful day. Millions of people in the “real” world have discovered this to be true. So let's apply it to the K/1 classroom.
Routines become habits. A habit is something that happens automatically without much thought or effort. A routine that optimizes completing mundane tasks quickly, and without much decision making and effort allows for energy to be spent on more important tasks like … learning to read.
Some kids spend all their energy and “good behavior” just getting themselves through the first 60 minutes of the day. Then they have nothing to give you later on in the day.
That’s a problem.
They are spending all their energy on tasks that don’t help push the academic needle. Solid routines mean freedom from energy suckers.
Here’s the challenge.
I’ve heard this come out of my own mouth and the mouth and a bunch of other teachers. “I know this is boring but sometimes we just have to do boring things.”
People you pretty much just told your students that every day they have something boring to look forward too.
Instead, let's turn that around and switch up our mindset.
Switching To A Joy Mind-Set Matters
Instead of accepting, “This is going to be boring.” Let’s say, “Where is the joy, and how can I bring attention to it?” Practice finding joy instead of getting through the boring.
Celebrate Learning and Community Matters
Part of every good morning routine includes connecting with each student and drawing attention to blessings.
Starting the day with big wins from the previous day and setting sights on the day ahead builds in a level of excitement and high expectations.
Who doesn’t need that?
Relationship Building Matters
When we have an amazing morning routine set in place it gives us time for the most important thing of all, connecting with our students.
Real relationships take time and energy. The morning routine is the perfect place to make a quick and meaningful connection.
It’s essential that the first interaction you have with each of your students be positive and build on the relationship that already exists.
Then during the day, if things get sticky, you have one step ahead of the situation because your students know they are loved.
We’ve talked about why a solid morning routine matters but there’s one last reason you need to nail this part of your day. You are the driving force of your classroom.
If you are not on the top of your game, then everyone should just go home.
You and you alone determine 95% of the success and failure of the day. You are the boss.
The Morning Counts
If you walk out the door at the end of a tough day but had a great morning, you know that you’ve,
1. Had a great 60-90 minutes transformative learning
2. You have found joy.
3. You’ve guided your students in finding joy.
4. You’ve built on your relationships with each of your students.
In other words, YOU'VE WON!!
Hold your head up and walk out the door knowing that some good has come of the day. Then get back in the saddle the next morning and crush it again. You owe it to your students, but most of all you owe it to yourself. Be extraordinary.
But, But, But How Does This Magnificent Morning Routine Happen?
This is simple but not easy to accomplish. (Sorry, just being real.) With the help of the next few posts, you are going to get some tried and true methods for establishing an amazing morning routine.
It is work, but the effort is small compared to the reward.
Building a solid morning routine in the kindergarten and first-grade classrooms are essential to learning and happiness for both the students and the teacher. You must master this part of your day.