by Lucia Sullivan on 04/12/2016
I hope you all had a wonderful spring break week. There is something reflective about changing the routines for a few days, and I hope you were able to get some rest and relaxation along with “family time”.
As we return to school at this time of the year, it is easy to shift focus to next fall.
The end of the year can be hard for people. Many children really enjoy the consistent, predictable routines of school and find transitions to summer challenging. And for kids who are changing classrooms or moving on from Canyon School saying goodbye can be truly hard. One thing that I would encourage people to think about is the concept of “finishing strong” or making a positive goodbye. Many people feel conflicted about transitions and find themselves getting irritable, and when this happens it is easy to fall into a “good riddance” mentality. Sometimes we think of kids leaving high school and lament the senior slump.
It is an excellent life lesson to learn to say goodbye to a person or a place in a way that leaves the door open.
When we honor our feelings of sadness or feeling conflicted, we can say that we are excited to move on to new things but we will miss the old place. In this way, we leave a door open to come back and visit, to stay in touch, to keep mutually positive feelings.
When people have a hard time saying goodbye well, they tend to get angry, they experience disappointments and blow ups and say, “ I can’t wait to leave here, it will all be different next year.” We have all seen this happen– and it is a loss for all involved because it is hard to stay in touch, to return, to visit when we leave angry. And it casts a pall over all of our memories. It fundamentally shifts the entirety of the experience.
So if your family is preparing to leave, or even if your child is preparing to move onto a new classroom, remember to honor and experience your feelings. Change is always hard. Transitions are often sad. Growing up is fraught with feelings. It is our job as the caring adults to model this and to help the kids understand that they can have a wonderful experience and be both sad about it ending and excited about the future. They can love a teacher and be ready to leave her. The trick is to learn to do it with grace.