Well, yesterday our class had to say good bye to one of our own. Not only was this hard on the student who was leaving, but for many of the classmates.
Fortunately, the school knew in advance that the child was leaving which gave us the opportunity to make some preparations for his departure. (When Martha left we had no idea - she just wasn't in school the next day!) Informing the class ahead of time (when the student was out of the room) and answering their questions made a difference in how students would deal with the change. Speaking privately to the student moving allowed him to share his thoughts and feelings. A deep sense of loss was shared by many.
Luckily, we live in a day where technology can help us stay connected. (When Linda moved away we lost touch until we recently found each other on Facebook). Now we have so many ways to contact with those that move. Hopefully, this student's new class will be willing to Skype with us.
On the last day we were able to present the child with some gifts. Students each made a page for a book. "A Day In Our School Without Our Friend is Like..." an Xbox without games; a banana split without bananas or ice cream; a hotdog without the dog; the stars on a lonely night. Along with these were sentiments of how and why the student would be missed and a picture of the page's author. A school tee-shirt was signed by all the classmates and some other small gifts were shared.
7 Great Children's Books About Moving
Education World - Student Mobility: Helping Children Cope with a Moving Experience
We Are Teachers: 5 Ways to Say Goodbye to a Moving Student