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We only have a couple of weeks of school left, and as the school year comes to an end, stress seems to increase for both educators and students.

  • Maybe it’s the massive To Do lists.
  • Maybe it’s the change in routines.
  • Maybe it’s the uncertainty about the summer and the year ahead.
  • Maybe it’s the mixed feelings about school ending.
  • Maybe it’s a combination of these reasons and other ones that might not even be included here.

For whatever the reason, the beginning and end of each school year brings with it some very unique stress.

Unexpected Co-Reg

After 22 years of teaching, I’m not new to recognizing and responding to this stress, but this year I was shown something different that might help. While I’ve been exhausting my Self-Reg strategies to make it through June —

  • from reading a good book,
  • to enjoying an extra manicure and pedicure,
  • to meeting with good friends for coffee, breakfast, or dinner,
  • to doing a few extra minutes on the exercise bike,
  • to spending a little extra time outside with my puppy (whether on a walk or in the backyard)

— it was some unexpected co-regulation that stopped me in my tracks!

How It Started And Continued …

This started with an incredibly kind email coming my way. It was a “thank you” that I didn’t expect, but that was so genuine and meant so much. Not long afterwards, I received some equally wonderful, and completely unexpected, texts. The messages weren’t long, but they were heartfelt. The sentiment was genuine. Even more so, each of these individuals took the time after a busy day to reach out, to express “thanks,” and to share something wonderful. Until this happened, I don’t think that I realized just how invigorating a lovely “thank you” can be!

Tears of Happiness

Just when I thought that things couldn’t get better, I read this lovely tweet from Jenn: an amazing educator whom I have the pleasure of teaching with each day.

This tweet brought me to tears. Happy, invigorating tears. Her words, during this time of increased stress and many unknowns, reminded me of just what matters most: the kids!

What Does All Of This Mean?

In Ontario, we have just short of two weeks left of school. There are many fun times ahead, and likely many emotional and stressful times too — for kids and adults alike. Maybe we could all benefit from a little bit of co-regulation. Could we all use a genuine, heart-felt “thank you?” I hope that we can all find ways to let educators, kids, administrators, and families know that they matter, for it’s these words that we might lean on a little bit more in the remaining days of school. We are all apt to share problems no matter how busy we might be. What if we become just as apt at sharing some additional love, friendship, and kindness? I know how much these words meant to me last week, and I do plan on paying this forward.