Friday, May 13, 2016

Day 160: Building Blocks

I was approached by a security guard today who asked me about High Five Friday.

"Does it make a difference?  It seems to. We never get calls to come to your room."

High Five Friday is just the precursor to MRSA Monday!  (I wash my hands so many times...)

I told him that I don't think any lives are going to be saved by getting a high five, but what it does do is help to build a community and make positive culture change.  When I started doing High Five Friday right after Thanksgiving, I was having a bad day and was trying to cheer myself up.  As I stated in early posts about it, it's very hard to be grumpy when getting/giving a high five.

I was chasing students down the hallway and demanding high fives.  Fairly soon, students began seeking me out for them.  If I wasn't standing in the hallway between classes, they would come into my room to get them.

For me, the beauty of High Five Friday isn't just the high five, but the knowledge that anyone and everyone gets it.  If you cut my class that week, if you screamed in my face that I am a racist, if you haven't turned in any assignments since January, or if I've never seen you before, it doesn't matter.

Everyone gets a high five!

I like being the Oprah Winfrey of high fives.

School can be such a negative place for so many students.  If we want to have a different culture, it needs to start with us.  Small gestures can have huge consequences.

Two of my morning students came back to my class in the afternoon to hang out while their classmates were testing.  I asked them about High Five Friday.  When they started talking, I quickly realized that there was something important going on.  I stopped them and asked them to write.

The following is the response of two students to High Five Friday:
Only small editorial changes were made because there's no need to start every word with a capital letter.

High Five is the best day EVER!!! When I'm down on Fridays, I know that I can walk down the science hallway and see him high fiving everyone.  The palm of his hand, red now because of all the high fives the awesome man has given thus far.  I walk down the hallway in a daze preparing myself to give my high five.  This high five will make a difference.  This will change my life and maybe other around me.  I stop for a minute and watch other people give him their high fives.  I wait... I watch... I'm READY!
I take my hand out of my pocket and I warm both my hands and I go in for the kill.  BOOM!  Our hands meet and a spark is given off.  FIRE! As I put my hand back in my pocket, I could only help but smile and know that today is ... Friday.

I never expected a student response like this, but it reminds me that no matter how crappy you feel, there is always room for a High Five.


  1. High Fives can transform your relationships with students. I covered a class, they were exceptionally disrespectful. I had a long talk with them. At the end of day, one of the students came and gave me a high five, then reminded me "You can't have a bad day when you're getting high fives!"

  2. Glad I saw your initial post about this in November. Inspired me to start doing it a few months ago. Similar responses from students about it :)


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