Every morning in my public elementary school classroom (many years ago now), I greeted each child by name as they entered the room. And at the end of the day, each student had a job to do, such as feeding the fish, sharpening pencils, dusting the shelves or watering the plants.
These rituals served like traffic lights signalling when to start and when to stop. At home, which is now also school, rituals may help kids move more smoothly from one mental space to another.
Students at Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School have long been masters at ritual. They begin the school day with breathing exercises led by children; you can find a number of these pre-recorded videos on their twitter feed if you’d like to join in.
Rituals at home can be as simple as making your bed when you wake up and bringing order to your work station each afternoon.
At InsideSchools, we have a new ritual of our own--our daily 10 AM video check-ins when we go around the circle and find out how everyone is doing personally, and then update each other on work goals for the day.
I’ve grown fond of our daily check-ins. I think that’s because rituals give us time to pause, and take stock. It’s like standing on a small island of predictability in a vastly chaotic sea.
Do you have a ritual to start or end your day? Let us know in the COMMENTS.