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kindergarten students shaking hands

Texas Kindergarten Teacher Uses Handshakes To Teach Kids Kindness.

For some educators, teaching kindness is baked right into their daily curriculum. It’s sometimes not enough to just teach kids their ABCs; it’s important to show them that they’re loved and valued members of a society.

Ashley Coston Tayler, a teacher at Keene Elementary School in North Texas, has been instilling a tradition of kindness in her students for the past eighteen years. Her technique is simple, but makes such a huge difference in the world we live in.

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Every morning, Ashley assigns the day’s “greeter” to stand at the classroom door. Then the rest of the kindergarten classmates line up to give the greeter a firm handshake and say “good morning.”


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Often, the children will move in for a hug in addition to the handshake. No matter what the gesture, the message is clear: respect each other, love each other, and acknowledge each other.

At the end of the line, Ashley herself shakes the greeter’s hand, and then they file into the classroom to start their day.


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Ashley, who is also a wife and mother from Burleson, Texas, shared a video of her students in their morning handshake line up along with the caption:

“When I see the direction the world is heading, it reminds me that what I am doing WILL make a difference!”

And make a difference she has. The veteran teacher says she hopes this simple practice will result in a powerful bond for her students that will last for their entire lives. Just letting kids know that they’re valued and important can turn someone’s day, and life, around.


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Ashley says she started the practice all those years ago in order to teach the class good manners and to let them know that “someone is on their side.”


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The practice is so sweet to behold, it brings a tear to our eyes. Ashley says she thinks her students all deserve a classroom where they’re accepted and have friends. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all started our day with a positive interaction like this?

Watch little Asher Bales do his greeter duties in the video below, and please share if you think more elementary schools should be doing this too!

When I see the direction the world is heading, it reminds me that what I am doing WILL make a difference!#lovemylittles#bestwaytostartaday#nevertooyoungformanners

Posted by Ashley Coston Taylor on Monday, May 21, 2018

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