It’s that time of year again that all teachers both love and dread- the end of another school year. With the last day officially on the horizon, you can practically feel the excitement (and restlessness) radiating off of students, but there is still work to be done before final grades are submitted.
With papers piling up and patience running thin how do teachers make it through this time of year to summer break?
Here are some end-of-the-year strategies and tips for teachers.
1. Count it down
Give students, and yourself, something to look forward to each day when they come to school by doing an activity that lets them count down the days until summer break. Need some countdown ideas that will keep your students engaged and motivated up until the very last day? Check these out!
2. Try something new!
You know that one lesson plan or activity that you’ve wanted to try, but just never had the time to do? The end of the year can and should still be for useful learning! If you have gaps in your lesson plans, it’s the perfect time to test new strategies that you have in mind and would like to incorporate into your classroom next year.
3. Stay in your routine as long as possible
Any experienced teacher will tell you that one of the best tips to navigate all of the craziness the end of the school year may bring, is to stay in your routine. Your students will catch on and reflect your behavior if you begin to wind down too soon. That being said you can play games and end of the year activities just be sure to keep your classroom structure.
4. Get organized
Between finals, overdue homework, grading, and all of the lessons that you are still completing, your desk can pile up pretty quickly at the end of the year. Staying organized and on top of work as best as you can is key to finishing the year strong and getting final grades in on time.
5. Carve out some time for yourself
Although you do want to stay on top of your work, try not to spend every night hunkered down in your classroom attempting to get everything done all at once. Finding some time for self-care is important, especially during the end of the year when you feel like your to-do list is a mile long. Although carving out a few minutes for yourself to go home and relax, take a walk outside, play with your children, read, take a bath, etc. may seem counter-intuitive, you will be able to release your stress and have more energy for the final push as the last day of school gets closer.
6. Reflect on the successes of your year
Take some time, with or without your students, to reflect on the year that you’ve had- what they’ve learned, what their favorite lessons were, the friendships that were built, and the strong bond that you have all grown together as a class. Celebrate student successes, laugh at funny moments, and don’t forget to give yourself credit for all that you have accomplished as an educator this past year as well.
Lastly, accept that your last few days of school are going to be filled with emotion and require your full attention. But the end is near. It may get a little rocky and you may become overwhelmed, but soon you’ll be packing up your classroom and all of your memories from this past school year with it. So remember to enjoy each second with your students.
Hang in there you’ve got this!
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