“Where is Your House?”
“Miss Lisa, Miss Lisa…..where is your house?”
Recently one of my wee friends asked that question. Several times. Each time I gave him what I thought was just enough facts to answer the question.
He didn’t want to know the name of my street.
He didn’t want to know the name of my town.
He didn’t want to know what it was near.
He didn’t want to hear what it looked like.
Problem was, I wasn’t getting what his question really was about.
He wanted to know where I’d be once school was out.
Then he asked me the same question about our other teacher-friends.
After all, many kids think teachers actually live 24/7 in that school building, right? We’ve all seen the shock and awe when you bump into a student in the grocery store. Why would we ever leave that building we live in during the school day? But, what if we left? Where would we be?
As the school year winds down, this little guy – and maybe others - wondered where we’ll all be.
Soon our schedules, faces, and routines will change. Our sense of identity and community will be challenged. All the work we invested in getting to know each other, building trust, taking risks, learning and sharing, will fold into the fabric of our being , ready to rest deep inside until we need to draw upon those experiences or until something else triggers our memory.
Look inside any classroom and you can see it. Perhaps it’s masquerading as excess energy, giggles, negative-attention seeking behavior, a lower frustration threshold, apathy, irritability, or challenging well-established rules and guidelines. End-of-the-year angst can strike kids at any age – adults, too.
We may be feeling sadness or disappointment that the friends we’ve come to respect and crave will not be daily fixtures in our lives. We may wonder who will fill that void over the summer and beyond. Is there any wonder behavior begins to change as the year comes to a close?
Listen closely to their wonderings and worries. Help them appreciate all that they have accomplished and what they have to look forward to this summer and beyond. And don’t forget to let them know what you’ll be up to!
How to help children bring closure to the end of the school year? Check out these short posts:
Looking Ahead – Eight Tips for a Successful Close to the School Year, Wonder of Children blog
A Change Will Do You Good, Wonder of Children blog
Season’s of the School Year May Flourishings by Chip Wood
The Last Six Weeks of School by Marlynn Clayton
Tips to Wrap Up the School Year, Scholastic