Kudos and Kazoos

On the last day, in front of the class, I say one thing about each student that made me proud. I give them a handshake or a hug, and we walk through the halls with kazoos or noisemakers. —Stacey K.


Special Goodbyes

It’s often not goodbye but “see you later” for me…except when they graduate. As a special ed teacher, I have many students for back-to-back years until they turn 21. If they’re graduating, I cry like a baby and make them take a picture with me. —Katie M.


Crochet Away

I crochet bookworms for my bookworms! Everyone needs a bookmark for their summer reading. —Alica T.


Graded With Heart

I write each student a personal letter on their final exam. Even with difficult students, I always try to find one good quality they possess and encourage them to keep developing it. I get more joy out of watching them read these letters and seeing the big smiles breaking out across their faces than I get all year long. —Gayla F. S.


Canvas Collector

I like the idea of handprints on canvas. I also plan to buy each student the first book I read to them, The Collector (they were glued to their seats). I will write a note inside each book. —Fran W.


Memory Blooms

I give all of my students a rose on the last day and we take a class picture. After a moment of initial embarrassment, the boys like the roses, too. It’s surprising how many have their fifth-grade dried rose in their room (moms have told me). —Donnica F.


Highlight Reel

I put together a video of all our class memories—all the pictures that we’ve accumulated over the year—and set it to music. —Sarah H. G.


You Will Survive!

I’m going to make a “middle school survival kit” for my fifth graders and write each one a note. —Sherette T.


One Last Dance

We cheer and scream, “We did it!” Then we dance…and wave goodbye. —Cathy B. S.


A Tollbooth Token

I make them each a framed quote from The Phantom Tollbooth: “And remember, also…that many places you would like to see are just off the map and many things you want to know are just out of sight or a little beyond your reach. But someday you’ll reach them all, for what you learn today…will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.” —Lisa S. S.


Photo: Cocoon/Getty Images