The end of the year. A time of excitement for students and a time of chaos for teachers! The “to do” lists can be endless. Here are some ways to help make your school year end more smoothly.
It’s easy to put off those end of the year chores, but no one wants to come back to school after the kids if s/he doesn’t have to! Create a list of what you need to do and prioritize it. Attempt to tackle one chore a day.
Pack away materials in an organized way. Use labeled bins or boxes for each unit you teach. Pack printed copies of the unit. Include copies lessons and worksheets in folders. These will help you next year as you begin to teach each unit. Include texts and materials utilized in the unit in the box. Make your bins onestop shopping hubs for each curriculum topic.
As a teacher, it’s easy to want to save EVERTHING.. You never know when you might need those shipping packing materials for a craft! The end of the year is the perfect time to prioritize what’s a necessity and what can go. Throw away anything in your classroom you haven’t used in the last few years. Clean out file cabinets and drawers. Nothing says, “fresh start,” like an empty space to refill in the fall!
Don’t Rely on Deadlines
Grades due next Friday? Last day of school in three weeks? You have plenty of time, right? No! If I’ve learned anything, it’s that time flies. Use deadlines as guides, but don’t rely on them. Waiting until the last minute only causes stress. Try to budget your time so that all tasks that have a due date are given the time they need. Plan to complete them early so that you feel relaxed and ready.
You will never have this time with your students again. Enjoy your time andtake it all in. Celebrate student successes. Think about the journey you’ve all gone on this school year. There are a lot of moments and changes to recognize and celebrate. Reflect with your students. Reflect on your own. Make the most of the time you have left with “your kids.”
As another year comes to a close, I hope these strategies help you to feel more relaxed and less frazzled! Remember to take time to enjoy all that you’ve accomplished this school year and to celebrate!