“You only get one chance to make a first impression.”
My wife and I joined our daughter last night at her new school’s open house.
Since this school is new to us, it was a good chance to meet the teachers.
At the end of the night, I found every teacher to be courteous and helpful. Every teacher has been at the school many years. Every teacher, as far as I know, is competent and possibly an exceptional teacher.
However, first encounters provided different first impressions. And those various impressions can best be exemplified by two teachers (called here – Teacher A and Teacher B) who did one minor thing differently to yield entirely different first impressions.
A greeting at the door.
Teacher A greeted us at her classroom door with a smile, eye contact, and a hand shake. She asked who we were, and in turn I asked her name. Instant positive impression.
Teacher B didn’t greet us, but stayed behind his computer until it was time to start.
Yet, from that point on, both were very similar – friendly, smiling, knowledgable, etc. But in my mind I felt, “I like Teacher A better.” Right or wrong, that opinion may stay with me for awhile. I suspect others who ventured into those two particular classrooms felt that way as well.
This was just another reminder that if you want to be well thought of, go out of your way to greet them at the door with a hand shake (or what ever physical gesture is culturally proper), look them in the eye (if it’s customary), smile at them (if situationally appropriate), and address them by name or ask it.
It’s only a little to give, but it’ll give you a big head start on making a good first impression.
(Oh, and don’t wait until it counts to start practicing.)
Yesterday’s gift of time … Attended my daughter’s first open house at her new school with her and my wife. Many first impressions were made.