I get it. It gets rough this time of year. You may be starting to edge towards the side of being mentally checked out and lord knows your kids are already well on their way there. In the theme of it’s-okay-to-love-your-job-but-still-love-summer-break (a la this post) it’s okay to feel that end of the year strain but you’ve also got to fight against it just a little bit. We aren’t quite there yet and you are setting yourself up for DISASTER if you let yourself completely check out. I’m talking student mutiny people. So let’s get it together and power through these last few weeks with just a smidge of enthusiasm.

There are a few important things you can do that will make next year immensely easier. And let’s be real – who doesn’t like easier. It won’t seem super necessary right now and like we just discussed we aren’t particularly looking for ways to make life busier right now but I promise – you will thank yourself later!

1. Do some end of the year assessments.

The thought of busting out the ABLLS right now is about as appealing as swimsuit shopping. But take the time to round out your year and complete those final assessments. You will feel awesome about yourself and your students and how much progress they made. Update the ABLLS, Words Their Way, Reading Assessment, and final post-tests of my LA and Math Curriculum. It will make curricular planning much easier and more accurate next year and you kind of feel like a jerk when you go to update your assessments in September and the last time you did it was March of last year…

2. Take notes!

Take some notes about what worked and what didn’t work this year. Take notes on ideas for next year – groupings, schedules, tasks, etc. This is one of the things that will feel like you don’t “have” to do. Because you’ll be all like oh yea, I’ll remember this for next year. Guess what? You won’t. After those lazy weeks of summer overtake your brain, you will barely remember your own name come August. So just do it. Take some notes. File them away in a safe space (that you will actually remember).

3. Get to know your new students.

Not every teacher has this luxury – but if you are able to work with some of the students that will be aging up to your room next year – DO IT. It’s way easier to have some kind of rough idea who you will be getting than starting from a blank page. If one of the kids aging up to you is one of the those big-bad-you-won’t-be-able-to-handle him type guys – take it with a grain of salt. I have gotten plenty of students who everyone said were sooooo challenging and soooo difficult and they ended up being some of my best (and favorite!) students. Some teachers get burnt out on students and all those students really need is a change. Getting a new teacher like you who is open to sending the time to work with them, understand them, and get to know them can be really life changing for these kiddos.

4. Teach some of the new systems.

If you know you will be adding some new systems in next year, teach your returning students it now. If you are switching a student to a different type of schedule or adding in a new independent task system like my Leveled Daily Work – getting your current students up to speed on that now will save you the time from having to do it in the fall and you can spend that time focusing on your new students.

Sasha Long

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