Classroom Greetings: More than a Simple Hello

Document Type : Original Article


University at Buffalo-SUNY



 In classrooms, the act of saying hello - the ritual of shaking hands or hugging, and taking the time to exchange information – can enact relational values of “We”-ness, of belonging. In this paper we highlight how one second grade teacher’s personalized and consistent use of greetings, and apprenticeship of students into how to greet and be greeted, functions to build community and involvement. Data are part of a two-year case study of a second-grade classroom in a diverse urban US context. This study examines approximately 16 weeks of classroom greeting data collected from Morning Meetings (10 hours, 39 minutes) and then homes in on 5 minutes across one day for a close look at the apprenticeship into, and roles of, being a greeter. Analysis explicates how greetings are used in different ways across time and how they work together to build classroom community togetherness. We argue that classroom greetings are a partial marker of dialogic pedagogy.