To be honest, the 2020-2021 academic year had a roller coaster that we never could have ever predicted. Some districts are back with masks. Some districts are back without masks. Some districts came back and then had to shutter very quickly. Others have soldiered on with modifications. And yet, here we are at the end of our academic year.
But it is very evident, no matter what situation your campus is in, though the adults might not be ready to let go, the students have gone through the expected seasonal academic trajectories (excitement, mid-year malaise, pushing back, slack off lessons, and excited for the end.) So what to do when celebrations might be very different than they were in past years? And how do we mark that moment still and allow it to be meaningful?
To Be the Last One Standing…
The ParaEducate office is dealing with preparations for several upcoming title publications. When we signed off for 2020, we had more questions than answers. Without a doubt, the world in August/September for the majority of the districts will be school closer to how we knew it in 2019. And more districts will probably have openings as staff retire. How we train our next wave of staff will matter addressing students who have not had the world of school as their parents have grown up.
Be that person that still remains. By all bets: be the person that is still. There is a lot going on. Finals, good-byes, and of course Congratulations.
Speaking of Congratulations…
It is not Renay’s first student to graduate from college, but Renay did have a student who recently graduated from college. And it was a moment of cheer for the student. While we are looking at the season of promotions, commencements, and graduations, all of these stages matter to students. And when you have a student with a disability, it may seem more significant to that student’s family than the student because they got there. And however they got there, it is a moment worth celebrating.
Celebrating the big milestones helps to make up for all those lulls in their educational journey. And all students appreciate those milestones once things really get going. It is a part of this journey. And it is a part of all the things we have waited for so very long.
Not just our students, but also our staff– retirements, new jobs, new opportunities. Help the students see the growth they can have when they take part and tell that person congratulations.
Before We Sign Off…
If you don’t know, Renay was a ‘theater kid’ in high school and did some directing for projects in college and then for a few years. One of Renay’s favorite traditions after the final night of the show was to stand behind the closed curtains, the house lights off, the stage work lights on and just stand for a moment. It was, truly, as close to the front of the regular stage as Renay usually feels comfortable with. And then she walks away, turns out the stage lights, and exits the stage doors to the quiet of the night. A little heavy, a little light, and knowing the stage will return.
So before you have your final moment on stage as it were with your students, enjoy the moment with your student. Whether that is formal, online, or otherwise.
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Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published during the academic school year on Mondays, unless a holiday or announced day off. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.