Let’s break down the MUST DOs to get through this last week of school… together. The end of the school year is so hard. The to-do list grows and grows and many teachers are often overwhelmed with all the tasks they must complete.
Make a List of the Last Week of School
The first thing you need to do is start a list of all the tasks you have ahead of you. This makes sure you don’t let deadlines and important things fall between the cracks. Plus, there is something extremely rewarding about crossing things OFF this list. If something has a date or deadline, write that besides the task so you are aware of what you need to do and by when. I like to use my “notes” app on my phone or my Google add-on called Google Keep to keep up with all these things.
Know What Can Wait and What Can Not
Next, many teachers love to get a jump start on the next school year in May. The idea of this scares me because I feel like I am just treading water on the end-of-the-year things. If you like to plow ahead, do it. If this stresses you out, don’t. Make sure you take care of everything you HAVE to do before you get that jump-start. I will share with you WHEN I do this below.
For example, if something is due on Tuesday, make sure you complete it Monday. Staying a day ahead will help your stress level down. Plus, we are never promised any planning time during the last week of school so don’t count on getting any time away from your students to complete things.
Keep Organized During the Last Week of School
Then, keep in mind that sometimes it is just key to staying organized. It will help you to work smarter, NOT harder. One example is to make a stack of all the awards and end-of-the-year papers you will give out to students. I personally buy my student a dollar store sand bucket and place all these papers in those buckets for the organization. Once I have a good pile made, I lay out the buckets and let the sorting begin!
You can grab these FREEBIE tags for your sand buckets by clicking here.
And you can send home these freebie travel books by clicking here.
Let the Students Help!
Once you input your data into all the required spreadsheets, print report cards for permanent records and to send home, and all those fun tasks, get your students involved in cleaning the classroom! I feel like if you make the mess, you clean it up! That is right… let your students help sort, organize, clean, and restore your classroom to the beginning of the year conditions. You can see how I do this by clicking here.
I already have my list of cleaning areas ready to go for Monday and Tuesday of this week. Once we complete these areas, I will make a new cleaning and organize this list for Wednesday. By the time my students walk out the door on Friday, most of those tedious tasks can be done WITH their help! You should not be doing this all!
Know What You Can Do Without Your Students
Once I finish my award ceremony with my students, I tackle the end-of-the-year list from the administration. Most of these items can be done without students around, like cleaning out a fridge, sorting grade-level supply closets, and taking food items home. Sometimes taking home a few things every day is the best way to get these things done. Something I need to do without students around so I make sure to work on these things during post-planning. If I need to concentrate on it, I do not do it with students in the room!
Post Planning Perks
Finally, you made it last the last week of school with students! Now during post-planning, I work on the following year. I like to sort through ALL my files and reorganize things. Since I share many of my activities with my co-workers, things can easily get mixed up and not put away as I would like. Taking a full day of post-planning to go through EACH file and bin is a lot of work, but it saves me so much time during the school year. Now is when I make copies and lamination and such for the following school year. Since all my student-related deadlines have been met, I am not stressed and I can dedicate time towards organization tasks.
You can see how I leave my classroom with tile floors that have to be waxed.
You can see how I left my classroom before when I had carpet.