What do teachers do in the summer? The answer is easy RELAX! After a full school year, you are beyond ready for that summer break. You are ready to have fun with your family and friends and not worry about what is going on in your room. Can anyone relate to these memes?
But I think it is important to prepare your room quickly for the following year so you don’t have to worry and stress over the summer! Summer is YOUR time! Today, I am going to share 10 quick things you can do to end the year easily!
Tip 1- Keep an Idea Sheet
Starting in April I post my “idea sheet” on my wall or somewhere near my desk. Once we get close to the next year so many ideas move around in my mind all.the.time. If I don’t write them down I will forget them (mommy brain!). Also, if I don’t write them down I will spend a ton of time thinking about them, instead of focusing on my class this year.
I write down any idea I think of or I see on Instagram. Then, when I start to plan out my next year over the summer or when I come back I have my idea list to come back to!
Tip 2- End of the Year To-Do List FREEBIE
We all need a checklist. Checklists make our lives easier, it is just a fact.
I create a checklist that I print off each year in May. This makes it possible for me to do everything I need to do before leaving for the summer. Some of these tasks are simple and easy, but having something to check off makes it so much more satisfying.
And if you look at the end of the list it has a place to write a reward. When I get my checklist done I reward myself BIG TIME!
Put your email below and I will send this checklist to you for FREE.
Tip 3- Have Students HELP
This tip is SIMPLE but needs to be said. I have students help me with everything at the end of the year. They love to do it and it helps me a ton! Some students would LOVE to have lunch in your classroom and then help you during recess time. Some students can help when work is done early or at the beginning and end of the day.
My students always label all of my stuff, box stuff that needs to be boxed, help me purge, organize papers and books AND SO MUCH MORE!
Tip 4- Take Pictures
Before I start purging and cleaning I always take a picture of everything. This way I know if I want something exactly the same next year I can give the picture to someone helping me and they can set it up. Or I can follow the picture on my own. It just makes it easier if you have a quick visual for you, a helper, or the custodian to put everything back where they found it.
Tip 5- 1 Hour Purge
Purging is my favorite thing in the entire world. I love to throw stuff away or donate things. I will set my timer for one hour once or twice before the end of the year and my only focus is to donate or throw away stuff that I didn’t use all year long. I typically will end this hour with a whole box of donations and trash. I feel cleaner and ready for next year after this hour. I highly suggest scheduling your 1-hour purge before the end of the year. Turn the music up in your classroom and focus on having LESS in your classroom for next year.
Tip 6- First Week Survival Pack
Before leaving for the summer I create a first week survival pack. I am not ready to fully plan my first week of school, but I have tried and true things that I do every year.
For example, every year I do these book companion lessons for back to school. I ALWAYS do them. So, in my survival pack, I will have all the copies already done, the books prepared, etc. That way I know I have something ready to go.
I also will copy and prepare all of my open house stuff and put it in my survival pack.
Yes, I don’t know how many kids I may have, but because the things in the pack are used every year it doesn’t matter if I have extras! Having this pack ready to go makes me feel better and more relaxed going into summer. Plus, it gives my brain the creative power to think of new ideas for the first week of school!
Tip 7- File and Move On
I use this student information binder all year. So, all of my data is in one place. Before I leave for the end of the school year I take that binder apart. I file anything that needs to go in their permanent file, give anything that needs to go to next year’s teachers to them, and throw away the rest. Then, I can move on from that group and go to the next year.
Tip 8- Make a Summer Plan
If you don’t have a plan for working in the summer you will tend to work more than you want to.
Before summer starts I sit down with my teammates and my husband to make a plan.
For example, last summer I said I would not work AT ALL during June. Then, in July, I would work 1 hour per week. Then, in August it would go up to 3 hours a week until school started.
My teammates and I decided to not meet at all until August and then we would get together once a week.
I now can go into the summer knowing when and how much I will work. It helps me not overwork.
If I get an idea I put it in my idea sheet or in the notes app on my phone. Then, when it is a working hour I will start looking through that list.
Maybe you need more hours or maybe you need less, but either way going in with a plan will make your summer more intentional and less focused on work.
Tip 9- START EARLY
Do not wait till the last week of school to do the above things. I try to get tips 1-8 done before the last week of school if I can. I spend about three weeks before the last week doing the above things. Then, I can be fully present in that last week.
It is never too early to start getting organized for the next year.
Tip 10- Enjoy It
ENJOY preparing for the following year. Reward yourself when you get all of your stuff done. Go out to eat with a teammate to talk about next year instead of just sitting in the classroom. Ask a friend or family member to help you organize, so you can talk and hangout! Make this fun for yourself and don’t stress about it. If it doesn’t get done WHO CARES! Do the essentials and enjoy it!