You made it! Closing the school year out with some rituals and appreciations helps us reflect on all the growth and memories you and your students have made this year. There is so much anticipatory energy present at the end of the school year, and it’s important to look back at your classroom and school community so you can be fully present for the transition to summer break. Here are a few ideas to celebrate the end of the year!
Celebrate and Acknowledge Each Student
Create a word cloud for every student by asking each of their peers to submit one word they would use to describe the student. This could also be done verbally during a class meeting, or with old-fashioned pen and paper during a gallery walk of posters with student names on them. Or try one of the other ideas for celebrating your students from this list from Common Sense Media.
Ask for Student Ideas and Feedback
You know that young people are brimming with creative ideas! While not all may be feasible, inviting them into the end-of-year celebration planning process is a great way to build confidence and build community. Have a class meeting where students brainstorm ideas for culminating activities, and vote as a class on which to implement.
Deconstruct Your Classroom Together
Take down posters from the walls, clean out cubbies, clear out science projects…the list students can help with goes on and on. Help build self-efficacy and responsibility in your students by inviting them to support you in deconstructing the classroom. Here is an article detailing how to do so in a thoughtful way.
Take Some Reflection Time
As educators, we are often so involved in caring for our students, we bypass our own emotions. Transitions can bring up a lot of feelings, and it’s important to process them regardless of our age or role in the school community. Here are a few example questions for educators to journal about to end the school year.
The end of the school year can invite lots of energy, and we might stray away from things like routines and co-regulation, which are the very things that help harness some of that energy. As much as possible, try to keep your classroom routines and rituals in place through the last day of school. Here are some kid-friendly meditations to try with your classroom community.
Congratulations, educators! You made it through another school year with grace, perseverance, and the power of community. Here are a few more ideas from Edutopia of how to balance routine and create special moments to celebrate. We hope you have a rejuvenating summer!