The Importance of Rituals and Routines

We’ve often heard people say, “I just need to get back into routine” after an extended absence or a deviation from the norm. Routines have a way of defining our day, and for many of us, they create order and stability. For our children stability equates to safety. Imagine living life not knowing what task or meeting was coming next? It would make prioritizing and planning quite difficult, wouldn’t it? Our children need to prioritize and plan, too.

Our curriculum supports teaching routines within the first few days and weeks of school, and to re-teach as often as necessary. There are routines for every situation you can imagine: entering the classroom, washing hands, lining up to visit the playground, etc. Routines provide a safe context in which our students and children navigate their days. (Bailey, B., 2015). (Wong, H., & Wong, R., 2009).  You may notice that we post routines in our rooms in pictures with accompanying text. These posted routines provide the “how to” or reminder for our children as they are learning and practicing routines. Once we know the routines, we are all free to think about the ideas and concepts that have caught our attention!

Rituals are the glue that binds our school family together. We have rituals for Morning Meeting, absent children, greetings, and goodbyes, and the list goes on! Again rituals promote safety for both adults and children alike. There is comfort in knowing that you can count on your teachers and peers to take time to greet you in the way that is comfortable to you, or that you know there will always be a very special ritual when leaving the playground. Rituals bind us as a community, and create connectivity in our classrooms. A connected classroom is a productive and peaceful classroom.

We wish you well as you learn new routines and rituals within your child’s school family. If you don’t already have hello and goodbye rituals in place in your home, perhaps this is the year that you introduce them. A special high five or handshake is creates a powerful moment for families as they go in different directions during their busy days!

 

Bailey, B., (2015). Building Resilient Classrooms. Oviedo, Florida: Loving Guidance, Inc.

Wong, H. & Wong, R. (2009). The First Days of School. Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications, Inc.

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