When I was a new teacher, I looked so young that I blended in with the kids. People would stop by my room and suffer a moment of panic thinking there was no teacher present.
I solved this problem with the Visitor Procedure. I teach it to my students on the first day of school.
When a visitor enters the room, the first person who notices says “Class, we have a visitor!”
The whole class says in unison, “Hi! We’re glad you’re here!”
Then the students are supposed to be dead silent while the visitor says his piece.
When the visitor leaves, someone (usually me) says, “Class, our visitor is leaving!”
The whole class says in unison, “Bye! We’re glad you came!”
We practice this by sending volunteers into the hall to enter and exit as visitors. It takes about five tries of each phrase to really get it down, but the exercise is well worth the effort.
Our visitor procedure is one of the hallmarks of my class. It’s a really fun way to build community and greet people at the same time.
Plus, it’s a nice little alert system so you know someone has come into your classroom. You’ll see!