Preschool handshake ritual is everything right in the world


For 54 preschoolers at Greensboro Elementary School, the day starts with a hug, handshake, fist bump or smile.

Their choice.

It’s a ritual the school put into place as part of its conscious discipline initiative. Preschool teacher Sara Collins told “Good Morning America” that the three pillars of the program help the children feel safe at school, feel loved and skill building.

“We’re trying to create a school family,” Collins told “GMA.” “We’re building relationships between the teachers and the children and the children and children.”

Each child gets a turn to be the “greeter.” On this day, the greeter was Aiden Tinker. Collins said it is one of several rotating jobs in the classroom. On this particular day, the school’s assistant principal, who happens to have a child in the class, was nearby and recorded the sweet interactions.

If 4-year-olds can get along, why can’t adults?

The child with the greeter job wears an apron with the four choices on it. The child being greeted gets to choose which interaction they want that morning.

“They’re more loving and kind to each other when they start the day off with that kind of connection,” Collins said. “Instead of throwing backpacks around they make eye contact with each other.”

It’s one of several rituals built into the day. Another is when the kids sit knee-to-knee and sing to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, “Twinkle twinkle little star, what a special child you are.”

“If 4-year-olds can get along, why can’t adults?” Collins wondered.



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