Check in with your students. I teach special ed students…ED, ASD, and ADHD. What just makes the day start out great is talking to each one of them and letting them know that what they have to say is more important than the clock…or the ringing phone…or the attendance person knocking on the classroom door.
For the first ten to fifteen minutes of class everyday students in the special ed program I teach in like to tell me about what they’ve done since I last saw them. I use the first 15 minutes of the day to allow students to get breakfast (and bring it back to our class) and I check in with each one of them. A short greeting or a longer question/answer session happens for each student. It’s the time we use to assess how kids are and how ready they are for the day. It’s probably the most important 15 minutes we spend because if students don’t feel welcome and accepted then they won’t be good learners for the day.