This is adorable.
Texan Ashley Coston Taylor, has been a teacher for over two decades. During that time she devised a clever "tradition", she assigns one child a day to stand by the classroom door and shake the hands of their all classmates as they go inside.
“Our class is a family! So that means we learn to treat each other with respect and kindness,” Taylor told PEOPLE. “I treat them as if they are my own. I instill this each year with my kids. We spend just as much time together at school as they do at home. This is the foundation that I build our year on.”
While it may seem like something so small to us, it makes a massive difference to the children.
“We start this ritual early in the year. It starts out with myself being the greeter and then as they start feeling comfortable they take over,” she continued. “Every child is spoken to by name, given a firm handshake and welcomed into our room with a smile and sometimes a hug.”
Not only does it teach the children manners and respect from a young age, but it has been life-changing for one little boy.
She shared a video of a little boy, shorter than his classmates, greeting them at the door, shaking hands with all and greeting some with a hug. The sweet clip has been viewed over 370,000 times.
Unfortunately, life hasn't been easy for young Asher- he has neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes tumours to form on a person’s brain, spinal cord and nerves.
“When school started, he was non-verbal. He had no fine motor skills,” Taylor explained. “As our class bonded with each other, Asher began to feel more and more comfortable.”
Eventually, he started bonding with his classmates over his favourite toy- Transformers.
“Within months, he was beginning to speak of Transformers. We, as a class, ran with this!” Taylor says. “Here we are today with Asher speaking in full sentences and able to do almost all that his peers can!”
This culminated in the act of greeting his classmates, something that seemed impossible to parents and teachers just months ago.
Taylor, who affectionately calls her students "littles" hopes that Asher and his classmates while take those skills on into their lives.
“As the year comes to an end. I pray that each of my Littles will continue the manners and respect that they have learned during their year with me.”
A simple act of kindness that has shaped this young boy's life forever.