When the school year ends and it’s time to say goodbye

It’s hard to believe: the last day of school has already come and gone. It seems to me that each year the days pass faster, and each year it is harder to say goodbye.

One of my classes really became a large extended family this year. On the last day of school, we watched our end of year video and had lots of laughs and a few tears. Afterwards, I passed out a little gift for each student (a photoshopped version of our class photo with an inspiring quote), and then we spent our final minutes recalling favorite memories with each other. We had so many fun inside jokes and moments to celebrate. When it was time to move on to the next class that day, there was a lot of “eye sweating” and hugging and not wanting to leave. I am really going to miss these kids. It’s amazing to think that I had the incredible privilege of being their teacher this year and to watch them grow – and sixth graders change so much throughout a year! I can’t wait to hear what amazing things my students from this year go on to do in the future. Spending time with them always fills me with such hope for the future.

Making the end of the year special:

In order to make the last days special, I have been making a year in review video for the past few years. In the past, I have done one general video, but I decided this year to make a different video for each class since I had so many photos and video clips. The running time still came in around 20 minutes for each of the four videos! I use the Free Music Archive and the Vimeo Music Store to find music tracks I can place in the video and still post my video online. You can check out one of our class videos at the end of this post. Also, my husband recently got a Mac Book Air, so I was able to use iMovie this year to make some pretty awesome looking videos.

3rdLast year, I started taking a class photo at the end of the year which I put in the year end video. We do both a serious and a funny pose. This year, I decided to photoshop the photos together onto a space photo from Hubble. I then added an inspiring quote and had a 4×6″ print made for each student. I teach 130 students, and it was less than $15 to have the photos made, which was an inexpensive, but special memento. I’ll definitely be doing this in the future. I also think I need to start taking a group photo at the beginning of the year for comparison at the end of the year.

I hope you had an amazing year with your students. Do you have any ideas for saying goodbye and reliving memories with students? Please share them in the comments!


2012-2013 Year in Review 4th Period from Janelle Wilson on Vimeo.


By Janelle

Space geek, science nerd extraordinaire. That's me! Want to know more, visit the About page.

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