Associate Professor Clayton Cook and his research team were recently featured in the George Lucas International Foundation’s Edutopia publication for research they published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions on the benefits of greeting students at the door. The Edutopia article, “Welcoming students with a smile,” cites the researchers’ findings that, “Teachers who spend time on the front end to implement strategies such as the PGD [positive greetings at the door] will eventually save more time on the back end by spending less time reacting to problem behavior and more time on instruction.” Cook and his team take things teachers naturally do, such as standing at the door and greeting students as the walk into class, and embed theoretical mechanisms of behavior change (e.g., social belonging, precorrection) to promote greater engagement in learning.
Clayton Cook is the John W. and Nancy E. Peyton Faculty Fellow in Child and Adolescent Wellbeing, associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s school psychology program, and core faculty member in the Institute for Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health. His areas of interest include: school based mental health, multi-tiered systems of support, emotional and behavioral disorders, implementation science, whole child assessment and mental health, and strength-based positive psychological approaches to intervention. Read more about Cook’s path to academia and his social emotional learning work with Lakeville Area Public Schools.