The end of the school year is my FAVORITE time of the year! Not just because “it’s the end of the school year”, or summer fun is so close. I love this time of year because it is a very satisfying time for my type-A personality. This is my time to start getting myself ready for next year. By getting myself set-up for success NOW, I can enjoy my summer and come back to school refreshed and ready to go. Sounds good, right? Well, it is! There is no better feeling than walking out the last day of school knowing that you have nothing to worry about when you return in August. Here are my 5 “Must-Do” tips for the end of the school year.
1. Time to Reflect
Right after standardized testing is over, I begin my “Must-Do” list. My first step is to reflect. This isn’t some super-formal process. I literally grab a notebook (see my favorite notebook below), and I write about all the things I loved and hated about the school year. What worked and what didn’t work. I think about all the new routines and activities I definitely want to do again and those that I’d rather forget. I find this is a very important part of my end-of-the-year process. It helps me stay focused and develop a strong plan for the next school year. Plus, if I wait to reflect, I forget!
2. Purge, Purge, Purge
Purge like you are on an episode of Hoarders. Do you know that show where people collect stuff and NEVER get rid of anything? Pretend like you are on that show and you must throw away everything you didn’t use this past school year. I go through every closet, cabinet, filing cabinet, and shelf in my classroom throughout the last few weeks of school. I get rid of random bins I thought I would need, resources I never use, and files I haven’t touched all year. When this is all done, I feel like a weight has been lifted and boy does it feel great! If you have a hard time throwing things away, get a friend to help you. This step is a must!
3. Organize Important Papers
Do you have a Teacher Planner? Well, you should! My teacher planner is attached to my hip all year long. It’s where I keep all of my important papers organized! Plus, it looks adorable.
Each year I start my year off with a nearly empty teacher binder and slowly fill it up with tons of forms, resources, and random papers throughout the year. This is the perfect time of year to empty out everything that won’t be relevant for next year and make your Teacher Binder look like new again.
Here are a few pics of my teacher planner. I made this planner years ago and now have an ENTIRE Club/Website focused on teachers that use this planner! If you want to learn more about it, you can check out my blog post Putting Together the Ultimate Teacher Binder.
4. Copy and Laminate
Oh, this is my favorite thing to do at the end of the school year! You know all those awful lines that form at the beginning of the school year outside the copy room? You know the ones! It seems as though EVERY teacher needs to copy and/or laminate during that pre-planning week after summer vacation. Well, don’t be one of them. Think about the papers you know you will need for the first week of school and get copies NOW. Yes, this will take some pre-planning and thinking ahead, but it beats waiting in those horrible lines or waiting forever to get your copies/laminating back. Plus, if your school is anything like mine, they limit the number of copies you can get each year. This plan allows you to use this year’s copies for next year.
5. Inventory Your Supplies
Let me explain. If you are like me, or any teacher for that matter, you probably purchase your own school supplies each year. You wait for those amazing school supply deals to begin in July and grab all you can. It is easy to get carried away in all the deals and sales forgetting what you REALLY need. If you have a list, or inventory, of the supplies you already have in your classroom, you won’t spend money unnecessarily. If you already have 150 packs of notebook paper, you probably don’t need 100 more.
I sure do hope my list of “Must-Dos” for the end of the school year will help you in the upcoming weeks. Putting in the extra effort now will save you tons of time and stress in the future.