Monday Morning Connection allows time and space for a teacher and students to come together in a safe and non-judgmental way with the intention of reestablishing connections with one another after the weekend. This practice begins with a warm, individual greeting to each student and then continues with an opportunity for students to share their feelings and thoughts in a supportive, caring and inclusive atmosphere.
The main purpose behind establishing the Monday Morning Connection practice is to try to create a greater sense of inclusion, belonging and personal connection for our students through this Student -Teacher and Student-Student interaction.
A secondary purpose is to help improve student social emotional competencies. Through this weekly practice, students’ awareness, empathy and perspective for others will lead to students making fewer assumptions about their peers while improving both social and emotional competencies for all.
Monday Morning Connection may take place in a variety of locations such as the entrance door of a classroom to a designate space within the class. It is important that each student is greeted individually by name as well as making eye contact with the individual. Other options include a handshake, high five or other forms of a physical connection. If using a physical connection as part of your greeting, it is important that students are given the opportunity to have a say in which form they are comfortable with (ie. Fist pump, wave).
This “check-in” or “meeting” can take many forms and include a variety of options based on the needs and interest of any particular group (see below the list of some ideas in regards to this). However, some basic tenets of this practice include that this practice takes place the first day back to school following a weekend or break and requires participation from all members of a class.
Students may have “the right to pass” should they not feel comfortable sharing but are expected to be actively engaged in this practice to the best of their ability. Students need to be pre-taught the necessary social skills and expected behaviours such as active listening, speaking in a clear and concise way as well as withholding personal questions and comments while another student is sharing.
- Group seated on floor in a circle, no chairs and no desks
- Chairs in circle, no desks
- Chairs and desks in circle
- Desks in regular class formation
- Check-in takes place in class
- Check-in takes place in alternate location; inside or outside
- How are you feeling today?
- What are you looking forward to today, this week?
- What is a goal you would like to achieve this week? What actionable steps do you need to do to achieve this goal?
- What is a highlight from your weekend?
- How do you feel/what do you think about … current event, subject focused
- What would you do if … analyzing, evaluating, making choices
- Use of symbolic “talking stick” or other object to designate who is speaking
- Use of food or snack at onset or culmination of practice with the idea of “breaking bread” with the group
- Use of music to symbolize the beginning or ending of the practice
- Using of Mindful breathing or taking a “mindful moment” at some point in the practice
- Use of evocative objects to incite conversation
- Use of specific topics to illicit intentional conversation. For example “Friday’s Food for Thought” topic to be shared during Monday Morning Check-in.
- Invitations to specific guests
As with any meeting, it is important to intentionally signal the ending of the Check-in by thanking the class for participating and set the intention for your next request “thank you for participating in our Monday Morning Check-in, please return to your seats”.
Communication and Personal & Social
We are mindful that educators are busy and often feel they have “little time to get a lot done”. Practices that increase our students’ social emotional competencies are often over looked or bypassed as a result. It is our hope that we have suggested a practice that takes little time but offers large rewards in terms of improving the social and emotional connections between Teacher – Student and Student – Student while building skills and increasing competencies within the same area. As shown in this write up, there are many different ways to structure the Monday Morning Connection both in terms of the Greeting and Check-in. What is most important to remember is that both need to be delivered with the intention of creating a practice that is positive, supportive and inclusive for all.