May 13

Navigating the End of the School Year

Posted by Valentine Burr in Fair Is Not Equal on May 13, 2013

How are we in the middle of May already? Hardly seems possible. Like you, we have been consumed with the endless details that come towards the end of a school year. Carving time for a blog post in itself a herculean feat!

May is a train hurtling down the track, barely contained in its velocity. Through the tunnel ahead is a glimpse of June. Our internal landscape is all at once anxious, nostalgic and celebratory.

In an effort to put a more deliberative frame around a hectic period, we take time in our work with graduate students here at Bank Street to mark endings and transitions. We ask our graduate students to reflect on themselves as learners and their experiences with faculty and peers. We uphold and create rituals of transition, believing that rituals create processes for saying goodbye and looking forward. We talk about endings with children and the joy and stress that such moments can bring in classroom communities, particularly for children more vulnerable to the disequilibrium that change can bring.

It can be challenging to build in time for these deliberative processes given the endless details of the concluding school year: grades, events, field trips, reports, meetings, planning, and so on. We invite you to share with us some of the ways you navigate the end of the school year in your classrooms or homes. We would love to collect stories, images and artifacts of rituals you engage in in your classrooms, ways you have children reflect and look forward, ways you take care of yourself during times of change and stress and/or ways you help children manage difficult transitions. If you have colleagues who have ideas to share, forward this post along to them!

Email us your stories, images and ideas. We’ll look through them and use this space to share them back with you over the next few weeks. Please remember, no pictures of children.

Valentine Burr: vburr@bankstreet.edu  

Pamela Jones: pjones@bankstreet.edu

tagged change, endings, ideas, transitions
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