The end is near! Not that I don’t love my job….but summer is definitely a welcome break. Yet, getting to that final day of the year can be so stressful and crazed. There are so many demands on your time, the students are getting “squirrel-y” and those ominous end of the year grades are due. The pressure doesn’t seem to end. But we can make it a little less hectic and a little more peaceful if we keep a few things in mind!
First, keep your perspective.
Yes, your life and your classroom have a lot to do in a little bit of time. But so does everyone else in your school. Take a deep breath and remember that you get done what you can with what you have. It’s like that saying – you eat an elephant a little bit at a time. With that in mind, now is the time to get organized! Organization will help save you time and energy – both things that you are in need of right now! If you need a few tips, go back and read yesterday’s post on organizing your lesson plans.
Secondly, use technology to your advantage.
Try a digital gradebook, storing your classroom files/lesson plans digitally, or using one of the many web-based resources for your end of the year lesson plans. These will not only help keep you from being frazzled, but will keep the kids in engaged in your classroom (which is hard enough right now)!
If you’re like me, I take a huge amount of stuff home each year from my classroom. I just don’t like the idea of all the stuff that I put so much time and money in being open access to whoever walks through the building over the summer. Start boxing that stuff up now! Get to school 15-20 minutes early each day during the week, pack 1-2 boxes and load them in your car before the day begins. When you get home, take those 1-2 boxes out of your car and put them in your chosen place of storage. While you’re at it, you can use this time to organize your class materials and take inventory of what you’ll need to start the year as you clean up your room. This way, when you walk back into your classroom in the fall, you’re all ready to begin!
By taking the baby steps now, you’ll be able to leave at the end of the school year along with the kids and not have that nagging worry in the back of your mind over the summer. Give yourself the present of peace of mind this summer – you deserve it!
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.