3 Tips to Process Change and Loss

by Tamara Fyke

Autumn is the season when the sun crosses the plane of the earth’s equator, making night and day approximately equal length all over the earth. The leaves are falling, the air is cooler, and daylight is shorter. The plants and animals are preparing for winter. Before this time of hibernation, all of nature celebrates with glorious color and bountiful harvest.

Although change is celebrated, it also causes sadness because it means saying goodbye to what is familiar. All change is loss. During this change of seasons, we lose sunlight, heat, and blossoms.

The natural world often serves as a sign of what we are experiencing in our minds and hearts. Take a moment to think about what changes you are facing. Perhaps it is a family member’s death, a mid-semester move, or a friends’ divorce. How do you feel about these changes? It’s important to express your thoughts and feelings. Write about them, sing about them, paint them, talk about them – get them out!

As we close in on two years of pandemic life, it is essential that as caring adults we take the time to feel what we need to feel. Being emotionally healthy helps us be present for our students and colleagues.

As you process your emotions, you will see that although all change is ‘loss,’ all change brings opportunity. It’s all in the way you look at it and your choice about the change. Charles DuBois (1804-1867), a Belgian naturalist said, “The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” Take a walk outside and look at the changes in the big world around you. Then think about how you can grow through change.

Tips for Helping Students Process Change & Loss:

1. Provide supplies for children to process their emotions as they create. – Paper, crayons, paints, markers, glue, scissors, old magazines are everyday items that can be used to make something meaningful. If children seem stuck on how to get started, offer a prompt, such as “I am dealing with big changes like ________________, and it makes me feel ___________________.” Suggest that they draw, write, paint, or collage their response to this prompt.

2. Structure a sharing time. – This may be one-on-one with you at your desk or as a whole group. Determine this based on the strength of relationships in the class as well as the confidence level of the students. Sharing personal stories about loss can make people feel extremely vulnerable.

3. Make referrals. – When the sharing time uncovers deep needs, alert your school counselor and other service providers so the students and their families can receive the necessary support.

edCircuit emPowers the voices of education, with hundreds of  trusted contributors, change-makers and industry-leading innovators

Global Community

Follow US On LInkedin

Copyright © 2014-2022, edCircuit – emPowering the Voices of Education.  

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept