Closure

“This will be the last time you walk out of my classroom as a student. I don’t care what it is: a handshake, fist bump, hug, bro hug, or middle finger. Just make sure you give a proper goodbye as you leave”.

My heart goes to the millions of kids around the nation who will not get the closure that so many students before them have had. There will be no proms, graduations, 8th grade dances, signing of yearbooks, field days or tears shed as they say goodbye to classmates and teachers. Unfortunately, they are receiving a first hand lesson that only life can give out.

There aren’t always happy endings. Things don’t always end as planned. Life isn’t a fairytale. We would all love to make sure loved ones understood exactly how we felt about them before they passed, have all our disagreements be peacefully resolved, or have failed relationships really end in friendship. However, most of us can agree it doesn’t always work that way.

I can’t help but think of the Downingtown West 4×100 meter relay team which placed third in the state of Pennsylvania in 2019. This year, the relay team was going to be led by 3 seniors who I have worked with since 8th grade. In the fall, we discussed how this was going to be a State Champion year, how they were hoping for records. Now they don’t even get a track season and my heart truly hurts for them.

You can try and spin this however you like and encourage people to make the best of the situation. But this lack of closure will be with many of these students for the rest of their lives. Yes, the wound will heal but some of these missed opportunities and experiences will be scars that remain forever. My 4×100 team will always ask “what if”?

The last time I saw my class, the writing was on the wall that we were getting ready to close schools. No one knew for how long and I spent the last part of each class informing students about where to find online work in case of a closure. I explained to them that we will play it by ear and have to go with the flow because no one has any real answers right now.

If life was a fairytale, I would have told the students what I usually tell them on the last day of school…

“This will be the last time you walk out of my classroom as a student. I don’t care what it is: a handshake, fist bump, hug, bro hug, or middle finger. Just make sure you give a proper goodbye as you leave”.

Instead, I settle for typing it on my blog and the reminder that Life won’t always provide you with the perfect endings.

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