Usually by the last day of school, the students have mentally checked out and just waltz in to collect their report cards. You would think they would be satisfied with checking their grades online by now but that would ruin their perfect attendance so they all come, especially the freshman. By June 28th there isn’t much teaching to do so many students spend their day sitting in a hot classroom staring at their smart phones. So a few years ago I decided I would make their trek into school worthwhile – I give them a farewell address.
The farewell address has become the highlight of my course. Students don’t expect to hear anything from their teachers on the last day which is why I highly recommend
sending them off feeling motivated for the summer. I always include meaningful quotes as I reflect on the close of the year. I share tidbits about how I became a teacher. I always try to explain to students that they don’t need to know who they will become as adults at 16 ( a valuable message for many of them to hear). I’ll share only part with you so not to bore you with the whole 35 minute speech. I highly recommend giving it a chance in your classrooms and making it a STAPLE of your end of year ritual.