How To Have The Right End-Of-School Year Conversation
The end of the school year is a significant milestone for every student. This year is no different! Although this past school year was quite turbulent and challenging for educators, parents, and students, talking about the highs and lows is still important! End-of-school-year conversations help prepare for the following school year and reflect on the previous one. This year, it’s even more important for parents to have a discussion about the online learning experience and overall learning experiences this past year.
Some students have been able to grow and develop further in this strange environment of isolation. Whereas, other students miss the traditional, in-person learning experience. Implementing a method to share, discuss and learn from these experiences allows students to capture and reflect on their growth. At the end of each grade, it is time to reflect! Here’s how you can have the appropriate end-of-school-year conversation with your kids at home:
End-Of-School-Year Reflection Points
Changes caused by the pandemic may contribute to stress, lack of control, and waning patience in students. Before you have this important end-of-school-year conversation with students, focus on the following skills:
- Validate the Challenges
By acknowledging challenges that your child faced in school or online, that allows their voice to be heard. Validating a student’s experiences boosts self-esteem and encourages that student to raise their hand and voice more in class. Expressing interest in your young learner’s daily class activities creates a positive bond which in turn, helps combat their stress and insecurities. By having this discussion with your child, you may be surprised! Some students may express positive reflections at the end of school year. Their experiences are valid and should always be reflected upon.
2. Set Goals for the Future
It’s the job of educators and parents to help students work towards improvement while being confident in themselves. Finding that balance between accepting where your student is at in school currently while helping them strive towards change is crucial. Dialectical thinking is the notion that two ideas can be possible and valid at the same time. When parents utilize this way of open-minded thinking, it expands their way of seeing things and validates their child’s point of view. Be clear with your thoughts with statements such as “what I am trying to say is..” or asking “what did you mean when you said …?”
3. Focus on the Positive
Practice self-compassion and model this to your student so they will develop healthy forms of self-criticism. What are healthy forms of self-talk and self-criticism? Positive self-talk creates a beneficial internal narrative based on uplifting, encouraging, and kindness. Modeling this to your student allows them to identify when their self-criticism is leaning towards negativity and challenge it. By reflecting on this, they can also reflect on your role as their parent. Positive self-talk helps reduce stress and anxiety and promotes confidence.
Important Questions For Students
- What was the most memorable part of your school year (e.g., before and during COVID-19)?
- When you think about the school year- what emotions arise for you?
- What is something you wish you had the chance to try this year?
- Now that it is the end of school year, what final thoughts do you have?
- What tips would you give other students when entering the grade you just completed?
Final End of School Evaluations
- How was speaking with your teachers and asking them for help? Were they helpful? Why or why not?
- How was it getting support from other students, tutors or teachers when you were having a difficult time?
- When do you remember putting more effort into your work than before? How did it turn out?
GradePower Learning’s Summer Learning programs keep your student learning from the end of school year into the fall! Each student can benefit from summer tutoring programs to combat summer learning loss and maintain learning momentum. GradePower Learning summer programs address academic fears and challenges from the previous year. Our tutors also prepare students for the new year in new ways!