ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – A first grade teacher at Grand Coteau Elementary School starts each morning a little different than most educators.
Elizabeth Ritter takes the time to hug and then offer words of encouragement to each and every one of her students before they enter the classroom.
A video posted on social media this week by Grand Coteau Elementary School shows the most adorable way Ritter’s class starts their day, thanks to a teacher who encourages students to be kind and inclusive.
“A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart ❤️ Mrs. Ritter touches her first graders’ hearts daily,” the post stated.
As Ritter moves from person to person, every child seems very open to the hugs, with one student sharing a story about her mom taking a weekend trip to her high school class reunion.
“I saw, she’s going on her class reunion, I saw that on Facebook, she’s gonna have a great time. Mama’s need that!”
Ritter established the routine at the beginning of the school year, greeting each student with a hug and a kind word to set the tone for the behavior that is expected in the classroom.
“This may be the only hug some kids get, thanks for being a compassionate human being,” one follower said.
“I do this too…sometimes I need their hugs more than they need mine. Sometimes one runs back for hug number 2! A perk of teaching the lil ones ❤️❤️❤️ They are lucky to have you,” another said.
The St. Landry Parish School Board took notice and offered these kind words.
“Great Job Mrs. Ritter!!! Thanks for starting off the day on a positive note. I know it brightens your students’ day. I have to say, I’m not surprised to see this. When I visited your classroom a couple of weeks ago, I could tell you had a nurturing spirit!” #stlandryproud