Often the end of the school year is marked more by relief than reflection… it is also often a challenging moment of transition and even sorrow (which is a pretty beautiful indicator that school is actually wonderful — “parting is such sweet sorrow”). If your school does not do end-of-the-year conferences (and even if it does), take advantage of the excitement and joy of summertime to do some EQ check in.
This is a time of transition for children (and teachers, parents, administrators, staff, allies…), and marking (or pointing out) the transition helps create clarity. Here are some questions:
- What are some of your feelings about school ending?
- How would you like to feel when school starts again?
- What do you feel most proud about from this year?
- If you could change one thing about this year, what would you change?
Depending on your students’/child’s interest, it would be valuable to…
- create a picture of this year and of next year
- collect highlights of the year into a binder or book – start a “dream box” in which s/he/they can put pictures/notes of “next year I wish…”
If you are asking them to do some reflection and goal setting, you might do the same. When I have asked parents and teachers to do so, often they comment about the kids, “Well, one of my goals for you is…” — that is not modeling! What are your goals for you? What were your high and lows from this year? What are your dreams for yourself as a parent, teacher, person, ally next year?
For those whose school year is not ending now, sorry to be US-centric, and perhaps you’ll try these ideas anyway!