This school year will be one for all of us to remember. Most Arizona students headed off to Spring Break having no idea that they wouldn’t step foot in their classroom again for the rest of the school year. The transition for students, parents, and schools has been very tough. As an elementary school teacher, I understand the importance of providing closure for the end of a school year for my students.
It is helpful to have a chance for students to look back on their school year and celebrate their growth, friendships, and accomplishments. Teachers provide opportunities for end of the year reflections to help see areas for celebrations and growth. These things are normally done through a myriad of activities, assemblies, and lessons at school. As a parent you can normally sit back and watch or support the end of year activities and celebrations, but this year you are playing a much bigger and more active role to help students get closure.
Listed below are some tips that can help you work toward helping your child get closure for this abnormal school year.
- Encourage your child to participate in as many virtual meetings or activities as possible. Yes, we want them doing their lessons, but this is to focus on the social emotional support that school provides. This will help students stay connected and continue to strengthen peer relationships.
- If you didn’t purchase a yearbook, encourage them to create one. Help them scrapbook a few pages with pictures, work samples, and written details from their school year. This will be a great memento for them to look back at.
- Help your child reach out and thank teachers and staff at their school. If Teacher Appreciation Week escaped by in a blur, it’s not too late to help your kids show their appreciation in a variety of ways as we finish out the year.
- Give your child a chance to say goodbye to their friends by writing letters, sending emails, or doing a video chat. For a lot of kids, their friends are the biggest and best part of their school year. See how you can help them make those connections.
- Do not overly focus on end of the year grades. Give attention to their work ethic, perseverance, patience, responsibility, and other key traits they exuded during this trying time.
- Give them a chance to reflect on their school year. Have them describe an area of growth and share something they did well. This can be done with a simple conversation over dinner.
- Realize, just like you, they will have a lot of questions and concerns about their summer and the next school year. Will summer school or their summer program happen? Will school start back up on time? What will school look like next year. Model patience and let them know how to stay calm during a time of unknown.
This school year has been an eventful one. It is important that we help our children end the school year on the best note we can. If you are struggling and this seems overwhelming, reach out to your child’s teacher for guidance or ideas. You can also comment below and I can try my best at helping your child get closure from the perspective of a teacher. After all, we are all in this together.