As the end of the school year approaches, students of all ages become more anxious and excited. It is a big transition as the rhythm of the school routine will not be there. They will not be with all of their friends and a teacher they care about. Many students also face uncertainty with their families. This is a hard time of year for teachers, too. Teaching is hard work! Most teachers are pretty tired by now, and you have to pack up your classroom and write report cards. You’ve connected and cared about your students, and you are sending them off. We invite you to look at the end of year as an opportunity to strengthen the skills you’ve worked hard to build in your students and to support them and yourself in the transition into summer. Some ideas:
- Stay with your well established routines (even reteach if necessary). Routine will help your students and you stay connected.
- Have realistic expectations of yourself. This is a good time to make sure you invest in self-care. Keep things in perspective – don’t sweat the small stuff.
- This is a great time to review and practice self regulation. Join your students in the practice. If you haven’t seen it yet, try out mindyeti.com. It is free and offers simple practices that students can continue over the summer.
- If you are using class meetings, you can use the structure of the class meeting to talk about the transitions and hopes and dreams for the fall.
- Take time for reflection and small celebrations. Help your students notice how far they have come. They can do this by comparing work samples or group sharing. What did they enjoy most this year? What was their biggest challenge? If they were to write a letter to a future student in your class, what would they say?
- Instead of big end of year parties, think about a goodbye ritual or practice that you might do with your students. Some classrooms use the ball of yarn activity. Others write appreciations for each other.