by Jan Shoop
When I was a principal, one of my favorite times of the day was ‘Opening.’ Opening was when all of the students and teachers and a few parents and volunteers gathered in the cafeteria at 8:00, the beginning of the school day. Each day had a theme. Thursday was my favorite. The theme for Thursdays was, “I’m going to have a great day Thursday.”
When you are a principal of a school, you learn quickly that Thursday is the day when bad things happen. On Mondays, the kids are still tired from the weekend. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the kids and teachers are digging in and focused on schoolwork. And on Fridays everyone just wants to finish the day and start the weekend. However -- On Thursdays, you never know what will happen.
So -- I started Great Day Thursdays. After Opening, every Thursday, I stood at the cafeteria door as the classes, were dismissed, and shook hands with every student, teacher and volunteer as they walked out the door. On occasion, I even chased down parents who were trying to escape. No one got away from me. We would shake hands and then they would look me in the eye and say, “I’m going to have a great day.” If I didn’t believe them, I wouldn’t let go of their hand. They’d have to start again with a positive attitude, smile and happy tone in their voice.
It was an amazing way to start Thursdays. We almost never had any discipline issues or grumpy students or teachers. Taking the time to say, “I’m going to have a great day,” got everyone off on the right foot or right handshake for the day.
So next Thursday before you go off to work, shake hands with your family and say, “I’m going to have a great day!”
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