Through the Eyes of an Educator: Every ending is a new beginning

by Stacey Ebert /
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Dec 03, 2018 / 0 comments

It’s December. The last month of the last quarter of 2018 is here, and the holiday season is upon us. Much of the country is littered in cold and snowy weather, many people are rushing out to purchase gifts to show their gratitude, and resolutions are in process for 2019’s arrival. It’s the time of year where endings and beginnings mesh together—and often the lines between the two blur. 

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Every ending is a new beginning

It ‘s December. One year is ending and another is on its way. How do we share these experiences with the young learners in our lives? Are there constants that are part of the ‘always’ in December? Do traditions matter for our learners? Are they interested in seeking the new and the different at this time of year, or is it repetition that sustains them? There are those who crave tradition, and others whose tradition is to do something new. There are those who focus on the ending, reflecting on the year and being present today, and those who turn their eyes towards January, the next adventure or the start of another trip around the sun. There is no ‘one way’ to see December. There is no ‘one way’ to celebrate the last month of the year, and there is certainly not only ‘one way’ to share this story with the young learners in our lives. 

There is no beginning without an ending; the two are tied together whether we like it or not. You have to finish your teens before entering your twenties. You have to learn to swim before becoming a triathlete. You have to finish flying lessons before becoming a pilot. No matter how we choose to see the next month’s visit, the month in front of us must first come to a close before the next opens. In the United States, school in December means exams, holiday parties, seasonal discussion, and a countdown to vacation break. In Australia, school in December means final exams, end of year assignments, holiday parties, and countdown to summer holiday break. The US is about to enter winter, while Australia enjoys the arrival of summer. While Americans bundle up and drink hot chocolate by the fire, Australians are about to break out the flip-flops and sunscreen.  

Regardless of where you are in the world, within days, December will turn to January and a new year will begin. Where you are might shift your attire, it might change the length of your school break and it might change your footwear, but only YOU have the power to see the ending and the beginning in a way that works for you. Reflecting on the past year’s events isn’t wasted effort. It’s significant to see how far you’ve come by remembering where you’ve been. It’s important to remember what you hoped for this year, and show gratitude for the ability to have a chance to reach for those dreams. It’s equally as important to seek anew, to look forward to tomorrow, to dream big and to work towards something better. But most importantly, between the ending and the beginning is the now.

Being present matters most.

Staying present, being in the moment, staying steadfast and breathing it all in - this is how we steady our grounding throughout the continual passing of moments, days, months, and years. 

Teach your children to reflect on their journey, remain present in the moment, and re-imagine what the future can be for them. Let them share their thoughts on the days they’ve enjoyed, the ones that challenged them, and the moments for which they’re looking forward. Involve them in the process of whatever December looks like in your family, and let them explore what they might want it to look like one day in theirs. Let them experience the meaning of the season by giving the gifts of hope, assistance, friendship, and joy to someone else. Encourage them to volunteer their time to lift others up at a time of year that is often difficult for many. Embolden them with the ideas of setting intentions, planning ahead, and leaving room for spontaneity. Give them the chance to flourish in their own way, and open their eyes to a world bigger than their limited surroundings. Share the magic of the season while providing an opportunity for conversation, communication, and courage. Find gratitude for the eleven months that have passed and hope for the ones to come.

As the door to 2019 steps into view, keep in mind that it cannot open until the one before it comes to a close. Step mindfully - it matters.

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Every ending is a new beginning

Stacey Ebert, our Educational Travels Editor, is a traveler at heart who met her Australian-born husband while on a trip in New Zealand. Stacey was an extracurricular advisor and taught history in a Long Island public high school for over fifteen years, enjoying both the formal and informal educational practices. After a one year 'round the world honeymoon, travel and its many gifts changed her perspective. She has since left the educational world to focus on writing and travel. She is energetic and enthusiastic about long term travel, finding what makes you happy and making the leap. In her spare time she is an event planner, yogi, dark chocolate lover, and spends as much time as possible with her toes in the sand.

Check out her website at for more of her travel musings.