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Surviving the End of the School Year

This time of year can be tough, even for experienced teachers. It can be physically and mentally draining as you try to get everything done and still be the amazing teacher that you are. Having a plan in place is the key to success.

It is important to know how you will manage your time and student behavior. Here are ten tried-and-true easy to implement and practical tips for surviving the end of the school year.

The last few weeks of school can be a crazy time. There's so much to get done and schedules often change. Student's are excited and behavior can be challenging. Here are some easy and practical tips, tricks, and ideas to help you with surviving the end of the school year!

Look Forward.

Give extra hugs, compliments, and words of affirmation. Your students have grown attached to you over the last nine or ten months of school. The thought of not seeing you every day, or you not being their teacher next year can be sad, scary, or unsettling.

Be sensitive to that and make them feel loved and valued. Help them get excited about next year and all that they will learn. If you are able, have a few of the teacher’s from the next grade pop in to quickly and say hi. Meeting new faces can help calm student’s apprehension about next year.

Practice Patience.

Understand that your students are just as excited for the summer as you are. It’s probably going to be most obvious in their behavior.  Try to have extra patience. Redirect instead of yell.

Summer will be here before you know it! This is a great time of year to practice self-care. We all know this is a busy time of year. Between packing up your classroom, end of the year activities and celebrations, deadlines and meetings – your schedule is FULL.

Don’t forget to take time for you. Grab a cup of coffee and drink it before it gets cold. Put your cell phone away and get lost in Netflix. Whatever self-care is to you, take the time. It’ll make surviving the end of the school year so much easier.

Remember and Reflect.

Set aside time for students to talk about and reflect on their school year. They can write about their experiences, draw a picture, or just talk about it. Or older students might create a skit to re-enact their favorite day while the other students guess which day/activity they are acting out.

Student Memory Books are fantastic for this time of year. They are a perfect way to gather students’ thoughts and experiences throughout the year. Plus it serves as a sweet memento for them to look back on. As a bonus, parents love them!

Attitude is Everything.

Even though you are stressed out, worn out, and are on the verge of checking out – remain positive. It’s so easy to get upset over an unexpected schedule change or snap at your kiddos, but don’t or at least try your best not to. You don’t want to end the school year like that or send your kiddos off to summer with memories of a grumpy teacher.

Instead eat a piece of chocolate. I’m kidding! {Kind of!!!} Remember why you became a teacher. Take time and enjoy the last few days. You will never have that exact same class or group of students again. Celebrate them. Enjoy them. Love them.

Activities on the Fly.

One of the best tips for surviving the end of the school year is to plan ahead and have a few creative activities that you can pull out at any time. Maybe you have a few minutes to spare between the end of a lesson and the start of an assembly.

Have students make a welcome banner for your class next year. Or write advice letters for next year’s class. Have students make an autograph page for their peers to sign – use a piece of paper or something fun like a paper plate.

Think of engaging activities that students can do that will keep them focused and on-task. If you’re looking for a fun way to incorporate learning, try A Dab of Learning: Summer Edition which uses bingo dabbers to keep the skill building and reviewing going strong!

Routines are Important.

Routines shouldn’t change just because the school year is winding down. When the routines change, you can be sure that student behavior will follow. Still have your morning meetings, read alouds, literacy and math rotations.

Now is not the time to slack off or make big changes in your schedule. You can’t expect your students to give their 100% if you aren’t doing the same.

Brain Breaks are a Must.

Just like you, you’re students are also working hard on surviving the end of the school year! Don’t expect them to work for long periods of time (this goes for ALL year long). You’ve got to get them up and moving and stretching! Incorporate fun stuff.

Games, dancing, Go Noodle. Practice counting through jumping jacks. Practice spelling CVC or CVCe words through squats. These are all ways to incorporate some movement throughout the day. Not only will your students love it, but you’ll get a great workout!

It’s Okay to Start Over.

Seriously. It’s okay to review expectations the last month or week of school. Sometimes a reminder of the rules and your expectations are needed. Remind students how to sit on the carpet, how to walk in the hall or handle classroom materials, how to behave during specials and in the cafeteria.

Or make some new rules. While students walk in the hallway, have them think of their most favorite thing about school, or their favorite read aloud. When you return to the classroom, pick a few students to share what they were thinking.

Plan Something Special.

Whether you do an end of the year countdown or just a few special days – give your students something to look forward to. Ask your principal to read your students a story. Plan a lesson that can be done outside. Have students bring in a stuffed animal and have a picnic that day.

While you don’t want to break your routine, it’s okay to have some fun and occasionally do something a little bit different.

Get Students to Help.

There’s so much to do at the end of the year so let your students help when possible. Students can help sort classroom manipulatives and puzzle pieces. They can sort markers to find the ones that are dried out and don’t work. They can toss empty glue sticks, wipe down tables, sort crayons and pencils. Think of easy jobs that they can do that will save you time!

Summer will be here before you know it. You will get there! Just remember: Breath. Plan. Make to-do lists. Enjoy this time with your students and incorporate some of these tips and you will be on your way to surviving the end of the school year!

The last few weeks of school can be a crazy time. There's so much to get done and schedules often change. Student's are excited and behavior can be challenging. Here are some easy and practical tips, tricks, and ideas to help you with surviving the end of the school year!

Then…enjoy your {much deserved} summer!

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One Comment

  1. I loved your picture so much about summer’s for teachers. I just shared it with my whole school! Thanks for that laugh!

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