One of the things I have always loved about being a teacher is that each year there is a new beginning.  We may teach year round but typically once a year there is at least a slightly different mix of children and a feeling of a new start.

As we begin again this fall, one of our priorities is to establish a relationship with each child.  In order to do so children must feel safe and welcomed into our presence.  One of the primary ways we communicate a sense of felt safety is through tone of voice.  Every interaction we have with a child has a double meaning.  There are the words that we say and the tone with which we say it.  Our words need to be carefully chosen and our tone needs to match the words.

The child’s first encounters of the day will set the tone for the rest of the day.  This means that not only teachers but bus drivers, van drivers, directors and principals play an important role as they greet and welcome children each day.  Communicating a sense of, “I’m glad you are here!” should be the goal of everyone who interacts with children throughout the day.

Psychiatrist Curt Thompson says that every child is born looking for someone looking for him.  I believe we need to communicate to children that we are looking for them each and every day.

Take a look at this video clip and see what a difference tone of voice and welcoming words can make in the life of a child.