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 particularly 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. The class then discusses why goodbyes are important and how they are challenging at the same time. You then lead the students through a goodbye mindfulness practice in which students reflect on their memories from the year. In small groups, students then discuss 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. After the mindful moment and introduction, you can lead the Mindful Goodbyes mindfulness practice or choose for students to fill out their journal in which they write a letter to the school year.

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. 

Lead a mindful moment of your chosen from a previous lesson or one you made up. As an additional activity, have students use materials at home to make a collage of their year. Start by making your own and showing it to the class as an inspiration. 

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. This includes capacities to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a well-grounded sense of confidence and purpose.

Self-management: The abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations. This includes the capacities to delay gratification, manage stress, and feel motivation & agency to accomplish personal/collective goals.

Responsible decision-making: The abilities to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations. This includes the capacities to consider ethical standards and safety concerns, and to evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions for personal, social, and collective well-being.

Relationship skills: The abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups. This includes the capacities to communicate clearly, listen actively, cooperate, work collaboratively to problem solve and negotiate conflict constructively, navigate settings with differing social and cultural demands and opportunities, provide leadership, and seek or offer help when needed.

Social awareness: The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts. This includes the capacities to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.