With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, use our comprehensive checklist to finish out the last few weeks strong. Plus, we offer ideas on how to prep now for the fall semester to make your life easier during summer break.May 11, 2022
It’s finally here! The long-awaited countdown to the last day of student classes, then the last day of finals, last day for teachers — you get the point.
All you accomplished — and how far your students have come because of YOU — is to be applauded. This year, take the time to commend yourself for your persistence, resilience, grit, and general ability to show up for your students.
Now that we can see the finish line, let’s put a bow on it. Keep reading for a checklist that will guide you to finish out your school year strong, and ideas on how to facilitate an easy start to the fall semester.
Make the End of School a Breeze
Use this checklist to guide your work time over the last few weeks of the school year.
Organize your closet, office area, lab, desk, and other spaces you won’t need to pack up for summer. You’ll feel so good about your efforts when you walk into your fresh space in the fall.
Send students home with supplies and graded papers, and don’t be shy to throw away materials you no longer need. In other words, make the trash can (or recycling bin) your friend! If you don’t want it and your students don’t need it, throw it away.
Get ahead on packing up your classroom. Do you have a student assistant or 'TA' who you can leverage while they are still reporting to you?
Begin reconciling your grade book. Did you leave some student assignment scores blank in February when a student missed class? Does a student need to make up an exam from last week? Now’s the time to start following up and scheduling appointments.
Print Now, Save Time Later
Print materials you know you will use at the start of next school year. Note to self: Make sure they are in their final version and no longer need editing.
Honor Thy Students
Make time to honor your students and all they achieved this year. Make your students feel good about their successes by taking time to recognize them and all they have accomplished. For example, you can host an award ceremony, give extra credit incentives, or have one-on-one conversations to commend individuals on their progress and growth.
Reflect on what went well and what you want to improve for next year. Some of our most significant growth occurs when we reflect on our practice. Tip: If you write down what you want to improve, you’ll remember it for next year.
Get Ahead for Fall
As you wrap up this year, you may also want to spend some time in planning mode now to help maximize your summer productivity. A few ideas of ways to make your life easier come fall semester are listed below.
Review and Revise
Review, edit, and optimize your curriculum map(s). Were you dissatisfied in the order of your content units last year? Wish you taught a certain topic more in-depth? This is a great time to write in these changes to ensure they come to life next year.
Plan a Few Lessons
Plan out your daily lessons for the first three to four weeks of next school year. You’ll be much less stressed going into the fall if you’re prepared for students to return.
Prepare for Growth
Begin preparing yourself for outside learning opportunities. For example, if you’re thinking about pursuing National Board Certification next year, you can register for the National Board Pre-Candidacy Class starting on June 1 to learn about what this process is really all about. This will enable you to plan ahead and set yourself up for success.
Enjoy Your Summer Break
Take time to do absolutely nothing school-related this summer! Because we as teachers have a duty to show up 100% for our students, we need to prioritize taking care of ourselves. Take the time to regroup, lean into your social relationships, travel, or simply enjoy life. We promise you won’t regret it.