Healthy Goodbyes

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Learning Goal

Students will understand what makes for a healthy goodbye.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Understand why goodbyes are important and can be difficult
  • Reflect on memories from the year
Learning Summary

While it may not be everyone’s favorite topic, goodbyes are a part of every relationship we have, and thus are something worth giving some attention to. How we “detach” is as important as every other part of a relationship. So, this week we will spend some time practicing how to say goodbye in a healthy way. This topic can often cross into talking about the death of loved ones. If this happens, teachers can acknowledge that when someone dies we have to say goodbye and that it can be difficult and also very important to do.

Start with a moment of mindfulness in which a student picks a breath they have learned and lead the class. You then lead a discussion on goodbyes: why they are challenging and also important. In a community circle, students share a favorite memory from the school year. Then they create their own memory maps. Students discuss healthy goodbyes and end by reflecting in their journals.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for Healthy Goodbyes

We all know goodbyes are important. If possible, try to make this lesson a live session so students can have time and space to say goodbye to their classmates and you.

Start with a student-led mindful moment. At this point in the year, students have learned quite a few different techniques. Have a student or two turn on their cameras and microphones and lead a mindfulness practice for the rest of the class. Use the introduction as a time of direct instruction on goodbyes and steps we can take for healthy goodbyes. Then provide an opportunity for students to share as a class or in small groups about goodbyes and how they feel. Then, students can create their own Memory Map using the printout from the lesson plan.

Lead a mindful moment of your chosen from a previous lesson or one you made up. Use the introduction as a time of direct instruction on goodbyes and steps we can take for healthy goodbyes. Students can fill out a Memory Map using the printout from the lesson plan. Alternatively, students can write a goodbye card or note to the class, take a picture of it and send it to the teacher, then the teacher can make a book of goodbyes to send out virtually to the class. 

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a "growth mindset."

Self-management: The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.

Decision-making: The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.

Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.

Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.