“The end” and the beginnings
Like it or not, being in an international community comes with many goodbyes. Whether your family is leaving or staying for next school year, there will be changes around the corner for you and your kids. We get used to it, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Saying goodbyes, taking time to reflect on the positive impact someone has had in your life, acknowledging meaningful moments/memories and looking into what is ahead is important. As we reach the last two weeks of the school year, encourage your child to show their appreciation in whatever way they feel more comfortable. Writing a card or letter, making a special small gift, sharing pictures, being mindful about the quality of the time spent together can all be helpful strategies. Make sure to allow some space for sadness and frustration. It shows that it matters, that they care. It can be tough. At the same time, wishing well and planning for the future is also important in the process.
To share a practical example, in Year 6 this week we created an appreciation wall, as we celebrate the end of the school year and their last few weeks in together in Primary school. To encourage a positive reflection of their time together, students wrote messages to each other and to the whole class, and also shared special memories that they want to remember. It turned out to be a very nice visual reminder of how special each student in the class is, as they get ready for their graduation next week.
I can say that I am also experiencing the bittersweet feelings of moving on, as I prepare to start a new journey in Malaysia. I would like to extend my gratitude for sharing the past two years here at MEF IS Izmir and for the great privilege of getting to know your children and this beautiful community. MEF IS is forever in my heart!