With the advent of the school holidays it’s finally time to celebrate the end of the term. Teachers and students alike all deserve recognition for the hard work that’s been put in . . . and, of course, of the achievements made.
We live in somewhat strange times, however, and so marking this milestone isn’t as straightforward as it once it was.
Graduation balls, party limousines and even coach outings to beach resorts are not an option for many right now.
So we’ve put together some great ideas on how to celebrate the end of term that will be remembered long after the holidays are over.
Create a virtual yearbook
Gone are the days of hefty hardbacks. It’s time to go paperless and protect the planet, and online platforms such as Google Slides allow you to create a virtual yearbook.
Simply upload names and photos and ask colleagues and students to contribute their own notes, voicemails or even videos. Give them carte blanche to talk about anyone and anything . . . but be sure to moderate the less reader-friendly commentaries. After all, a yearbook isn’t just for end of term, it’s for life.
Host an online party
Video calling has quickly become an everyday part of education. Many platforms have become invaluable tools to facilitate home learning and teacher-to-teacher collaboration.
So why not harness this power for real-time, face-time communication and host an online party?
Whether you choose Zoom, Google Meet or any one of the many online portals, you can set up a gathering of an entire class to chat about the academic year and look forward to the many years of fun that lie ahead.
Create an Instagram account
You can dedicate an Instagram account for your students to mark their big day. They can submit pictures to celebrate their own and their classmates’ achievements. They can relive all of their adventures in education.
Set the account to private to create a safe and closed community for images and comments.
One for the teachers
There may be recycled paper cups rather than Champagne flutes in the staff room but that’s no reason not to throw a last day soiree.
Whether it’s a cheeky wee fizz and nibbles on offer or coffee and cakes, it’s only fair that teachers join in the end-of-term fun.
So let’s hear it for all you excellent educators: cheers!
Host an awards ceremony
This is an occasion for teachers or students – or all together. Where possible, it can be organised to be attended in person or simply enjoyed online.
Don’t take it too seriously. There really can be award for everyone, from best class average to funniest classroom clanger.
Record a podcast
Podcasts are fantastic online resources for teachers, especially when starting out. They also make excellent farewells from teachers to students who are moving on to work, college or university.
So why not record a short podcast with input from the head teacher and all of the wonderful support staff at the school? It’s the perfect way to congratulate them and offer messages of support, as well as a timeless memento.
Plant memorial trees
For students now is a time for moving forward. However, for the class there will always be many fond memories.
As well as promoting biodiversity, inviting students to join a planting day in the school grounds will create a living memorial they – and their children – can return to time and again.
What better way to celebrate the end of term by making the world a safer and better place for the many generations of students to come?