The assessments are done, the grades are in, and the students are gone . . . you made it to the end of the school year! Congratulations! One might think the work is done, but as a teacher you know there is still SO much to do. Prepping and packing your classroom for summer break is sometimes just as big of a job as prepping it for the beginning of the school year. Here are some tips and tricks to save you time.
Before you start packing up, don’t forget to take pictures of your classroom. Take pictures of your walls, bulletin boards, book shelves, calendar area, seating arrangements, anything you have set up! Taking pictures will help you know where to put things when you’re rebuilding your classroom for the new school year. . No need to reinvent the wheel here!
Also, depending on your school, some teachers might want to label each piece of furniture with painters tape and a number, and then draw a classroom map. Most custodians will put furniture back according to your map if you ask. This saves you a lot of time!
Organize Your Classroom.
Seems like a no brainer, right? Organize everything you can now, so that you can focus on other jobs when it comes time for back to school. Here are some things teachers often forget to organize before they leave:
Snack Cabinet– bring any extra food home or dispose of it before summer break.
Prize Box- check for perishable items such as lollipops or chocolate (you will want to take those out), also it is a good time to re-stock prizes to be ready for day 1 next year.
Writing Utensils- go through your marker/pencil/crayon supply. Throw out dried up, broken, or dull utensils and refresh your supply. Don’t wait until the first day of school to sharpen your pencils.
Classroom Library- You know this is a big job, but organize your books before you leave for the summer. Repair tears, rips and labels that might have been damaged during the school year. You will be glad you did this before leaving!
Wrap Your Bookshelves.
As a teacher you can save a lot of time doing this. There is no need to pack ALL your books in boxes at the end of the school year. Keep them contained, organized, and dust free by wrapping them up before you leave for the summer. You can purchase a large roll of cling wrap from a wholesale store or buy inexpensive vinyl table cloth rolls from a discount store to cover your shelves.
During the school year you are always copying and preparing for the days and weeks ahead… keep it going! Think ahead to what copies you will need for the first week of school; first units, reading logs, meet the teacher night, open house, morning work and so on, and get the copying done! This will save you major time when you come back to school.
Prep Your Bulletin Boards.
Prepare your back to school bulletin boards now. You might not know exactly what you want to display, but you can replace the background paper and border. Remove all those staples that you have left behind and start fresh! This is a time consuming project, but you will thank yourself later.
Taking the extra time to prepare for next year may seem like the last thing that you want to do right now. But the extra work you do now will take some major stress off of you during back to school!
What’s your end of the school year cleanup process? How do you save time by organizing and preparing for back to school ahead of time?