We dissolve their stress over a period of weeks. We review memories of the year. We look at old calendar pages, and remember special events. We look at a photo gallery of pictures from the year. We play favorite songs and dance to them.
I reassure the kids they will always have a place right here—I point to my heart. We’ve been part of a club, a team, and we always will be. When we see each other, we’ll smile and know all the adventures we’ve shared.
Then we list all the next grade teachers, and I tell the kids that it’ll be fun to meet a new teacher, with a different character, and a fresh perspective on life.
I read The Teacher from the Black Lagoon, which makes them laugh at their anxieties about next year.
And I remind them, if stress creeps up, to do our old standby: deep breathing.
Life after kindergarten’s gonna be great!