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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Coaching Myself Forward on the Final Days of School

The final days of school are busy in so many ways--there's administrative work, teaching, and end-of-school organization and clean-up. Young children also often exhibit behaviors that illustrate their yearning for summer, worries about the end of the year, and exhaustion due to all the special events, celebrations, and sports.

Educators always try to create just-right endings to the year, endings that match students' energy, excitement, and trepidation. We work to strike that just-right balance of quiet, comforting tasks to end-of-year reflections to playful exploration. In fact as I think about this, I recognize that it might be interesting to discuss the end-of-the-year with multiple educators to think about this from multiple perspectives. I noticed a Twitter chat about this and it may have been a good idea to get involved.

As I think of all of this, I want to coach myself forward to do what I can to create a positive end of the year for each child, an end of the year that will include the following events:
  • Outdoor naturalist study and exploration: Students will have time to hike, care for, and learn about the lands and waterways around them. As the teacher, I want to encourage their happy and enthusiastic exploration and listen and respond to their needs and questions in relation to this.
  • Safety Talk: Students will hear the local police officer and firefighter tell them about safety in order to make their summer fun safe and enjoyable. 
  • Pack-Up and Clean-Up: We have many summer lists and packets to send home with students on Thursday, and we have desks and other areas to clean-up.
  • Goody Day: It's our turn to treat the staff to breakfast
  • Celebration: It's a day of play and celebration to mark the end of the elementary school years.
  • Clean-up and Organization: Time to put things away and then rest up, catch up, have fun, and study with the year ahead in mind. 
There's been lots of learning this year, learning that I'll reflect on and write about in the days ahead. Onward.