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!

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Joshua Freedman

Joshua is one of the world’s preeminent experts on developing emotional intelligence to create positive change. With warmth and authenticity, he translates leading-edge science into practical, applicable terms that improve the quality of relationships to unlock enduring success. Joshua leads the world’s largest network of emotional intelligence practitioners and researchers.
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