To say the 2019-20 school year was unconventional is an understatement. Having been a classroom teacher and school administrator I am familiar with end-of-school rituals like compiling a summer reading list, having class and faculty parties, cleaning study and work spaces, taking inventories of supplies and equipment, communications with parents regarding plans for the next school year, graduations and moving-on ceremonies and various other activities to bring closure to the academic year.
I know firsthand that in addition to school-wide activities, teachers love to add a personal farewell touch to their group or groups of students with whom a year-long bond was developed. I have read numerous posts from teachers expressing how they miss the students and how artificial it has been to meet virtually; no hugs and special notes, no I love you or exchange of tokens of remembrance for the year spent teaching and learning together.
I remember my joy of getting together with faculty and staff, at an off-site location, to express gratitude
and to enjoy camaraderie and the hard work for a successful school year. Well, social distancing triggered, by the COVID-19 Pandemic, halted that practice.
We are creatures of habit. So how do we bring closure? I have a few ideas and I would love to hear what activities you have planned.
- Mail personal letters through the post office.
- Make personal phone calls.
- Hold an all-faculty zoom meeting with each participant sharing the highlight of the year.
- Ask parents or care givers to send positive notes to staff that could be placed on the school’s website.
- Organize small and large virtual meetings to plan for school reopening.
- Throughout the summer organize virtual meditation or yoga activities for voluntary participation.
- Purchase books for staff, place in a beautiful package and have a safe drive-by delivery at school.
Enjoy the summer break, relax, and stay safe. You’re appreciated and loved.