INSIDE EDITION -- A Texas elementary school teacher believes in the power of starting the day off right. That’s why she greets her students every morning while donning a silly costume.
Branson Elementary School teacher Cindy Matthews, of Burleston, stands outside the school every morning for about an hour.
Instead of saying a traditional “hello” as students start to filter in for class, the 56-year-old teacher's assistant for special needs students wears a silly costume, and greets students with a song and a dance.
“It’s a lot of fun, the kids love it,” she told InsideEdition.com. “They get energized.”
She explained it all started two years ago, on a rainy day.
“I put some floaties on, an inner tube and some rain boots, just went outside and the kids just thought I was crazy,” Matthews joked. “It was fun, it made the morning go faster, and I didn’t have to just stand there and wave, ‘Good morning, how are you?’”
From that day on, Matthews did a different costume every morning, inspired by upcoming holidays or a school event.
“For Christmas, it’s the Santa hat with the Mickey ears and the Mickey gloves,” she explained. “Right now, it’s Valentine’s, so I have the springy ears […] and the boa.”
She then started adding jumping jacks, high fives and a skip to her routine, according to video shot by students from Centennial TV-Film, Connor Williams and Josh Mayer, and teacher Marc Miner.
"Some are too cool to give me five," Matthews said. “Some don’t even bother to acknowledge me at all, but then I run after them – I don’t scare them but I run after them – and then I do get a smile eventually. Those are mostly boys."
Matthews, who has been teaching at the school for five years, said she can see the difference her positive attitude makes on the students.
“You could either go in the school and be all humdrum, with no pep, or you can just be happy, and the kids read your body movement,” she said. “These children know — if you’re happy, then they’re going to have a great outlook on everything. I get them excited.”