On the last instructional day of the school year, we have our final class pow-wow. Essentially circle time, but we call it “Family Time.” My students named it.
Our final Family Time always brings me to tears.
Not because everything regarding the last few days of school is chaotic and I’m losing my mind… though it is chaotic and I am losing my mind… but because I ask the students to speak from their hearts.
And when they speak from their hearts, it is extremely moving.
“What was your very favorite thing about being in Kindergarten? What “hard things” did you do? What would you tell next year’s Kindergarten class to prepare them for Kindergarten?”
Every student that wants to share has an opportunity to share. They share about the friends that they made. They share about how they learned to read and write! They lavish me with loving compliments.
Then, I ask my students to write letters to the future Kindergarten class. One is wrinkly because well, that is just real life. Especially at the end of the year.
I will interpret each letter below the picture. Their letters surprised me and made me feel SO loved. I will cherish and save these letters forever.
Mrs. Ackley is very nice and she won’t hurt you because she is respectful and responsible and she will always keep you safe. Mrs. Ackley smells like flowers. Mrs. Ackley is so sweet. Mrs. Ackley is nice so never hurt Mrs. Ackley because we all love her.
You will do fun stuff like go to recess. Be kind to your friends. If you want to be on purple, you have to be good because it is the right thing to do. Sometimes you might want to give Mrs. Ackley a huge hug. School is fun.
Do not bring toys to school. Do not steal. Do not talk back.
Mrs. Ackley is not mean and rude and selfish. Don’t be mean and rude to her. We do cartwheels outside, handstands. Always love Mrs. Ackley and love her.
Don’t be scared of Mrs. Ackley. First you will learn shapes. Next you will learn colors. then you will learn 3D shapes. Last you will learn numbers and learn how to read. You will love Mrs. Ackley.
At the end of next year, when you are pulling out your hair, encourage your students to slow down and reflect upon the school year. Guide them into recognizing all that they have overcome. Encourage them to share their hearts regarding school, their friends, and their teachers. It will give them the closure that they need and the courage the press on to the next grade.
Doing so will melt your heart and encourage you to cherish the final days of school with you sweet, messy, and very large school-family.