Transitions and Saying Goodbye



For many of us, saying goodbye is not an easy thing to do. As adults, we might feel sadness as we transition but we know that good things lie ahead. We are able to reason and apply logic; we know that our sadness will eventually fade and that we will make new friends and enjoy a new place, a new job, and new experiences. Young children, age seven and below tend to handle the change a bit better than older students. But sometimes during a major transition, our children will exhibit erratic behavior because they themselves are not able to recognize that the transition is causing some frustration.


We need to be cognisant of the emotional challenges our children are experiencing as they transition from ISD to another school. It is important for our students to experience closure. They need to be able to say goodbye to their classmates and teachers, to celebrate their friendships and the good times they’ve had. Being sad is a part of the human experience and it is perfectly normal for our students to get a bit emotional with their departure.


How can parents help with transitioning?

You can help your children with transitioning by being compassionate. Take plenty of time to talk about the transition and explain that things are going to be different and that eventually things will start to feel better. Show your child(ren) photos of the new school and your new home. Focus on the good things to come but be careful about creating unrealistic expectations. We don’t want our children to be disappointed when they arrive at their new destination.


Dr Aaron Balick, author of Keep Your Cool shares his strategies for dealing with change. Top Ten Ways to Deal with Transition


What are we doing at ISD to help our students with transitioning?

Our Elementary School Counselor, Ms Shandra, is reaching out to students who are leaving and meeting with them for lunch. She visits with the students about the move and helps to provide closure here at school. Each child leaving ISD will receive an ISD t-shirt and all of the students in the child’s class will sign the shirt. Whether or not a student has been with us for one year or several years, we believe that he/she has left their mark at ISD and their time with us will be forever treasured. All of the students who are moving on will stand up to be recognized at the end of the year assembly.


What about the parents? How do we say goodbye?

Parents who are leaving; we will miss you too! We are appreciative for your many contributions to our school and we are thankful to you for sharing your children with us! Please join us for a final send off on June 1st at 3:45 just outside the 5th grade classrooms.

Come and have a piece of cake and some coffee. You too, need closure and so do we.


Farewell to our friends who are off to new adventures. You will be missed and we wish you well.


-Ms. Kelly, Secondary Principal

The International School of Dakar

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