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  • Writer's pictureKelly Knowlden

Chancellor's Challenges: Endings

You made it!

Another school year, albeit with an odd ending, done and behind you. And while many do not count time by school years, for me, it has occupied all of my life. The one thing that I have

appreciated is having an ending. Endings give us something that cannot be taken lightly.

They give us time to reflect. How’d I do? (The list of things to be assessed can include the day-to-day work, or the quality of interactions with fellow workers and those under me, or even how far we’ve made it to our overall goals.) Endings help us to think about what has been done and what can be done better.

Endings also give us a change of pace. If one thing ends, then another thing must start. If you come to the end of a vacation, then you know it is back-to-work you go. Life doesn’t have these “holes” of nothingness; there is always something next. Sometimes that ‘next’ is a period of rest. Sometimes, it means that there is a summer job. Sometimes it means that there are new responsibilities. The ‘next’ is important for that reason.

Endings therefore also give us something to look forward to. For children, the ending of the school year means that summer fun is just ahead. For you, perhaps the ‘ending’ of the coronavirus may mean the lifting of sanctions that we are not quite comfortable with. But the ending always comes at last – and that is a break from what has been, which is almost always welcome.

So how will you help your children navigate THIS particular ending of THIS particular school year? Will it be, simply slide into the summer and try to maintain some semblance of a routine? Or will you take time to pause and reflect on the year with them? Will you celebrate their year with them – have some ice cream and enjoy their ending as much as they do? Will you make some plans for their summer so that they don’t sit in front of a screen every day (all day long!)? Perhaps helping them think of a project that would be fun, like planning a trip to the park for a hike or perhaps a cookout where they do the cooking?

My suggestion is that whatever you do, make this ending a celebration that includes reflecting and planning for the summer ahead.

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