Rituals. Rites of Passage. Routines. Each if these is changing in 2020, but our need for theses persists. Rituals serve a significant role in our lives-in and out of school. Importantly, rituals develop a sense of belonging through shared experience. They often usher us through important transitions, supporting our loss and commemorating our celebrations. Because of this, rituals have a strong emotional aspect. Consider the powerful emotions of pride, anticipation, excitement and sadness graduates feel as they cross the stage or toss a cap. Given all that rituals support, it is well worth considering how we can adjust and add rituals to our school day to help navigate a year of uncertainty and increased isolation.
Rituals are often placed at the threshold—when things start and end. They can announce a beginning and create connection, at the same time they convey community values and hopes.
This Fall, teachers at Upper Blue Elementary in Summit County, Colorado gather before drop off in masks and yellow vests to start the school day in “All Call”.