Growing from Challenges—Ending the Year on a Positive Note
There is no other way to say it—this school year has been full of unique challenges and demanding questions. Whether you have been teaching remotely, in-person with social distancing, or a hybrid of the two, you probably found yourself grappling with questions ranging from How do I build community when we are not physically together? to How can students work in partners when they need to be 6 feet away? to How do I teach fractions/reading/cooperation/writing in this setting?
Despite these obstacles, you and your students have found success! Your students have learned, worked, laughed, and had fun together. You have taught them new skills and picked up some of your own. As the school year comes to a close, now is the ideal time to acknowledge and celebrate all that you and your students have accomplished. Here are some ways to help students celebrate their growth over the course of the year.
Celebrate with Reflection
“Look at what you can do now!”
Use reinforcing language and plan reflection activities that highlight how much your students have grown this year:
Celebrate with Each Other
“Look at what we did together!”
Create opportunities for the class to celebrate as a community:
Celebrate by Having Fun
Find ways to infuse joy into the last weeks of the school year:
Celebrate Your Personal Successes
“Look at what I did!”
Your students are not the only ones who deserve to celebrate! Before you put this year behind you and enjoy a well-deserved break, take some time to appreciate how you have tackled and overcome so many challenges:
Adding intentional celebrations to your end-of-the-year lesson plans benefits you and your students in a number of ways. Students recognize how much they’ve learned. They internalize their new learning. All members of the learning community finish the year on a high note. You did not just survive this school year— you met its challenges and grew from them. And in the fall, when schools reopen for a new year, you will all be that much better prepared for the challenges that lay ahead.
Written by Suzy Ghosh