Throughout the year you have probably told students to “clean up” and get ready to move on to the next thing. Well, now it’s your turn! It’s time for you to do an end of the school year clean up in order to get ready to move on to summer.
When the end of the year comes (sometimes much faster than we anticipate) it can be overwhelming to figure out exactly what we need to do to be physically ready for summer. To help you get to your summer faster, follow the guide below and get ready to soak up some sun!It’s time for you to do an end of the school year clean up in order to get ready to move on to summer. Click To Tweet
Make a Before and After Checklist
One of the easiest ways to get your thoughts together is to make a checklist. This checklist should include things you need to do before school and ends and after school ends.
Before School Ends
When you make a list of things that should be done before school ends, you should be serious but make sure you add in some fun as well. Before school ends you should consider:
- What you need to test on
- Any gifts you want to give students or fellow staff members
- End of the year parties you want to host
- “Thank You” Notes
What Tests Do I Need to Do?
Testing at the end of the year can be difficult. Kids are not always very focused and knowing exactly what to test can be tricky. One way to know what to test is by utilizing spiral review techniques. This helps to see what skills you may need to teach again before going into next year.
Testing on material that has already been mastered isn’t the best way to “clean up” at the end of the school year. When you use spiral review techniques, you are cleaning up some “rougher edges” and making sure students what fundamental ideas going into next year.
What Gifts Should I Give?
When we think about gifts, sometimes we think only about things that can be bought and we may want to include those too. If you want to give another teacher two gifts in one, you can give them organizing materials that are still useful from your classroom.
When your students move onto the next class, there are some things they are still going to most likely do. These things include:
- Working in groups
- Logging into different programs (this is very true if your school has certain websites they use across the board).
One of the best things you can do with class specific helpers such as a group selector sticks (popsicle sticks with students’ names on them), log in reminders, etc. is pass them onto the next teacher. By doing so, you are helping out a fellow teacher have “one less thing to do” and you’re decluttering your classroom.
You may also want to gift instructional coaches with something small like a gift certificate or an “I owe you” coupon redeemable during the summer months.
A fun part of the end of the year can be parties that you plan on hosting. The end of the year is a great time to invite parents in for an “end of the year ‘clean up’ gallery.” At this gallery you may give out state test scores, works of art, or anything you have kept that you will no longer need.
This not only allows parents into the school and into your classroom, it gives you an opportunity to declutter and clean up your classroom. Anything parents don’t want to take with them can be recycled or simply thrown away.
You may also want to consider hosting a teacher party. Having a teacher party where you have a glass of wine or a few beers and talk can be really uplifting. While we may not all see each other outside of school, your teacher friends can be your life line so spending one last night out with them can be super important.
Saying Thank You!
Saying “Thank you!” is a dying art but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to relight the fire. A quick thank you note to your students for all their hard work and one to their parents for their support can go a long way.
You don’t have to get super personal, a generic thank you is better than no thank you at all but if you can manage to write a little personal note that can go a long way too.
Beyond students and parents you may want to say thank you to your instructional coaches, your teacher friends, and your administration for all of their help and support throughout the year.
After School Ends
There is always something to do whether we are gearing up for summer by finishing up those last few weeks with students, or we are working towards making sure we are starting “ready” for next year (minus the decorating of course).
After school ends, you may want to include the following items on your “To Do” list to help you clean up at the end of the school year.
- Anything required by your district such as your requisitions, inventory, etc.
- What you want to clean/purge/organize including computer files, documents, etc.
- What you need to physically clean/disinfect
- A “planner” for summer school activities such as professional development and scheduled decorating days or planning days.
I always like to start with my inventory and reflect on what we used more of what we didn’t use at all. I know it can be easy to hit the “copy and paste” button in our minds and just get what we got last year, but there may be things you need more than others and some things you have ordered and never really used.
So before you make your orders or requisition for anything, make sure you get your inventory done.
When you are ordering items, keep a budget in mind. Make sure you are ordering what you can so you have less to take out of your own pocket at the beginning of the school year.
One of the easiest and hardest things to do at the end of the school year is clear some space. Whether you are clearing space on your hard drive or in a cabinet it can be hard to decide what stays and what goes. If you did not use something this year, put it in a folder and keep it for one more year. If you don’t use it the following year, it’s time to pitch it.
The nice part of doing that this year is it makes next year’s clean up a whole lot easier. Plus, you clear out valuable space for files, folders, or general “stuff” that you may need more space for.
Clean Up Those Germs
While we all try to clean throughout the year to keep the dreaded “germs” away during the school year, it is important to do one more deep clean before we leave. Make sure you wipe down popular areas for students to gather and areas that you may be neglected throughout the school year.
Walking into a clean classroom next year when you are ready to decorate will be a breath of fresh air!
Plan On It!
One of the last things you can do to end your school year is to fill your planner with things you would like to get done throughout the summer with hard deadlines.
So often we say we are going to do so much throughout the summer only to falter and not really get it done. One thing we can do to help us combat the inevitable procrastination is fill out a summer planner with deadlines we have to meet.
These plans can be for anything from building curriculum to creating fun new decorations. You can also put professional development meetings you plan on attending in your planner as well so you don’t forget while you are soaking in those summer rays.
Summer is almost here! The sun is starting to shine and I know we are all ready for that mental break. Before you completely “check out” make sure you have done your end of the school year clean up; doing so will help you start your year off right!