Do you have a go-to read aloud for the last day of school? I know there are a few well-known ones out there, and I own a couple of them myself. But the selection of last day of school books had always been lacking in my classroom library. Especially in comparison to my huge collection of back to school books.
And I realize why I’d never really had a favorite book for the end of the school year. Personally, I had never been able to find “the one” that expressed all of the sentiments I wanted to share with my students before saying good-bye. It’s such a bittersweet time, and there wasn’t a book that touched upon all of the messages I wanted to leave them with.
Leaving a Lasting Impression
After spending an entire year together, there is just so much a teacher could say on the last day. To name just a very few things, you might not want your students to leave your classroom for the last time without knowing:
- how proud you are of them
- how much you will miss them
- that you would love for them to come back and visit you
- that you will always be rooting for them, and truly wish them all the best for the future
You may also want to give your class an opportunity to reflect on all of your memories together and all of the special relationships and connections you have made.
And don’t get me wrong. As sad as good-byes can be, I have always been just as excited for the last day of school as the next tired teacher. The last day is also a time to CELEBRATE! It’s important for students to get to share in that as well, especially after the hard work they have done all year.
New Book for the Last Day of School
As I mentioned previously, I had always been unable to find a book that touches upon all of those messages. So I took a cue from one of my favorite childhood authors, the late Beverly Cleary. She said, “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelves, write it.”
I have written what I hope might become your own go-to read aloud for the end of the school year: A Letter From Your Teacher: On the Last Day of School.
I wrote its precursor, A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School, to help communicate what many teachers want their kids to know when they first become a part of their classroom. In this follow up book for the end of the school year, the intent is for it all to come full circle. It can be read aloud to express the final thoughts and well wishes that many teachers want to leave their students with.
Illustrations by Sandie Sonke
Since first working together on Our Class is a Family, I’ve collaborated again with the very talented Sandie Sonke on this newest book. She has helped bring to life many of the universal sentiments that teachers share with students on the last day of school.
Where can I get the book?
I know firsthand how extremely busy teachers are, but if you ever happen to have a quick moment, I’d love if you considered leaving a review on Amazon or my website after reading. Teachers value what fellow teachers have to say when it comes to books for the classroom, so taking those couple minutes to share your thoughts with other educators is so helpful. And it means a lot to me as the author too! ❤️
If you’d like an extension activity to go along with the book, you can visit this blog post for all of the details. The mailbox activity pictured below is available on both TPT and in my shop. It’s perfect for the very last day, or you can even spread it out across multiple days or weeks at the end of the year.
Once you’ve read aloud the book on the last day, this extension activity will have an even more special meaning for your students!
You might also want to check out this additional end of the year resource that goes with another one of my books, Our Class is a Family. It’s a Class Family Memory Book, and this blog post has all the details about it. This resource is available on TPT and in my shop too.
And in case you might be interested in a unique experience for your class, I am offering virtual author visits again! I would love to meet personally with your students, and talk all about the writing process and class community. Dates are full for this school year, but I’ll be opening up new ones for next school year! You can find out more details about author visits by clicking here.
A Letter to the Teacher
Teachers like you do so much to make the end of the school year a special time for their students. I hope that this becomes a valuable addition to your collection of last day of school books, as you celebrate with your class and reflect on your time together.
This past 2021-2022 school year had its extra challenges to say the least. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a relaxing break than teachers! So even though this is a phrase that might have lost a bit of sincerity after being written in many a yearbook, I truly mean it when I say it to you:
Have a great summer!