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Caring Connections for Social Emotional Behavioral Health

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Finishing strong is an everyday occurrence as there will never be a race, goal, day, quarter or year that does not come to an end. This means finishing strong is not an act…it’s a habit. Gary Ryan Blair


If we have a desire to “win the race”, who sees a finish line and stops or slows down? But we have all seen the racer who started too fast and has nothing left to give, collapsing right at the edge of the finish line. We have also seen the disappointment that washes over that racer.  To be so close and yet not finish. 

So here we are, in May.  So close to that finish line. To finish may require digging into your reserves.  It may require seeking support from fellow colleagues.  It may require noticing and savoring the joy that your efforts and successes bring to your students. 

According to marathoner Jim Taylor, “You can’t finish an endurance race strong if your energy stores are completely depleted. At the same time . . . .there is a hidden reserve of (mental) fuel within all of us that is available at the end of a race.” Tapping into that hidden reserve as May approaches is critical to a strong finish to the school year. 

May matters. It is time to teach new skills and take students to new places through content. It is an opportunity to capitalize on student energy and drive home newly learned skills. It is time to cement relationships so students know school is their safe place. 

The peak–end rule is the psychological heuristic in which people judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak (i.e., its most intense point) and at its end, rather than based on the total sum or average of every moment of the experience. Based on the peak-end rule,  whatever it takes, we want to finish the school year strong, to leave that taste and hunger for learning lingering within our students, to prepare them for a return to school in the fall. 

To find the needed resolve, here are some tips to help you finish strong:

  • Write down your goals for a visual reference and as a pathway to encoding your goals into long-term memory

  • Break your goals into a checklist of milestones and check them off as you go

  • Use positive self-talk and avoid negative self-talk; find the joy in the days of May

  • Find a positive, accountability partner and cheer each other on to the end! 

You are strong!  You are appreciated!


6 Ways to Finish Strong (When Your Momentum is Low)

The Psychology of Finishing Strong in Endurance Races


Keystone Contacts:

Keystone is here to support you! If you would like help supporting your students' SEBH needs, please reach out to us. 

Patricia Lehmann

Scotti Hagensick 

Suzanne Maas

Suzie Maas