I've always tried to make my classroom a strong community, and this is the first year that I made such an explicit effort to let my students know what my intentions were. I don't know why I hadn't been this explicit before, and I will absolutely continue to include students in my thought-processes, and in helping to build our community together.
To bookend the year, I wrote a letter to my students to include in their report card envelopes on the last day of school. I am not the first teacher to have this idea of course! I drew inspiration from many other teachers on Twitter, and ultimately I am very pleased with the list of life lessons I wrote up for my students.
Here is what I wrote. If it can be of use to anyone else, I'm happy to share :
Connections matter. In person, in writing, always.