It can be hard to take the news that a great friend or trusted colleague is relocating. Just as disappointing is when you find out a wonderful student is moving, as happens frequently in military families. So, how should you honor that student? It’s a question that was asked recently by Christina P. on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE! Luckily, many of our community members had been through this before, and offered ideas for some creative projects your class can collaborate on to leave this student with warm feelings and happy memories.
1. Make a Memory Book
Kimberly H. says, “When we moved when my daughter was in 2nd grade, the class made a book for her! Each child wrote a letter about what they liked about my daughter and well wishes. Some drew pictures, then the teacher put it together in a book. Of course, she moved it!” Kris W. suggests taking it a step further, having students sign the memory book then giving the student preaddressed, stamped envelopes so he can write to the class.
2. Personalize a School T-Shirt
Several of you, like Monica C., have the students sign a school t-shirt with a Sharpie. Lisa J. adds, “I do the t-shirt. As a former member of the military, I can tell you that whatever you do will be treasured by the child and parents. Moving all the time is particularly hard on the kids.”
3. Make a Quick Movie
Vicki Z. likes the idea of a “personal video of the kids saying goodbye or things they enjoyed so the student can enjoy it for a long time after.”
4. Create a Guide to the Student’s New Town
“If you can find out where they are moving,” suggests Nicole F., students can research the area and make cards for the moving student displaying “some cool things about the new place.”
5. Write Letters
Lastly, Jo Marie S. offers this easy but heartfelt suggestion: “Write a letter to him and one to his new teacher from you!” The moving student is sure to appreciate the gesture, and will remember you for it. Plus, it will relieve some of the apprehension or nervousness he may be feeling about getting a new teacher — and that new teacher will be grateful for your introduction to the student, too.