It’s the end of the school year. The sweet taste of sleeping in, lazy mornings, and maybe some late afternoon cocktailing is right around the corners. It’s time to say good bye to hand sanitizer, broken pencils, data sheets, and whiny voices… momentarily at least. So how do you deal with this transition? And most importantly how do you deal with this transition and make the start of your next year easier? Because there is nothing worse than the pre-back to school anxiety. So why not do what you can now to make that a little easier. For serious.
Wrap up and Look Ahead
While you are wrapping up this school year, start brainstorming now about next year. Don’t wait until right before the next school year starts because you will forget all the ideas you had the year before.
- What worked this year and what didn’t?
- What goals, subjects, or skills did you have a hard time fitting in each day?
- What part of your day follows the best, fits the most in, or has the least behavior problems?
- What part of your day had the most behavior issues?
- Where can you increase efficiency?
- Look at your most commonly used tasks – think of some similar tasks that you can make.
Take note. I’m serious. Write it all down. I promise you – you will not remember all of these great ideas come August.
Utilize the Down Time
While winding down each school year, you tend to lose some of that new-unit-involved-art-project-rearranging-centers momentum. So you are left with a little bit of unutilzied time. Use that time. Start making things for next year. Get your aides cutting, velcroing, and laminating away. Start making easy and time consuming work tasks. In the start of the year, you will need to be keeping your kids busy while teaching your new students the schedule and routine (or teaching your old students the new schedule/routine). Make sets of flashcards for a fluency station. Update your tasks. Make the missing pieces, toss puzzles that don’t have all the pieces, get new containers for the ones that are really worn. Think of anything and everything you can have made ahead. You will be beyond happy you did.
Update your Assessments
Time to gage the impressive progress your students have made over the year. Update the ABLLS, reading assessments, or summarize your data sheets. While doing this – take notes on great goal ideas or areas in need of improvement for next year.
I don’t know about your school – but my school is just ridiculously evil. We need to pack up everything to be moved out of the room so they can redo our floors. And let’s just say – the custodians aren’t exactly fluent in “handle with care.” So it needs to be packed well. But you also need to pack smart. Like I said – that August anxiety of walking into a dust filled room of boxes and garbage bag covered book shelves can be overwhelming. My first few years teaching, I would just shove everything into bins and shelves and it would be a freaken hot mess unpacking. Packing things logically. Put similar things together. Keep things on the shelves they actually belong on.
Out with the Old
Things that are nasty, broken, missing pieces, worn out, never used, or empty – trash it. You know you will be hitting up the target dollar spot over the summer – so make room for some new goodies by getting rid of the old.
What are your end of the year tips and tricks?