Ahh, it’s May! Sure, you’re down to your last Expo marker (and it’s that “too light” shade of brown) and every piece of remaining decor is hanging on by the very last stick of adhesive… BUT IT’S MAY! AND SUMMER IS NEAR!
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you pack up your classroom for the year and get you on your way to summer vacation! (Because let’s face it, you’ve earned it!)
1.) Organize from the inside out
Nobody wants empty classroom walls with two weeks left to go in the school year. While it may be tempting to rip down your bulletin boards the minute you finish EOY assessments, admin doesn’t always like that.
Instead, I recommend tackling things like cabinets and closets. Spend 10-15 each day tidying up the spaces behind the scenes, including books, paperwork, and supplies.
2.) Review your caseload for next year
Before I log off my computer for the year, I like to review my incoming caseload’s IEP goals and behavior needs. You can use this free organizer here to jot down any student goals and help brainstorm ideas for next year.
Summer is a great time for browsing Pinterest, whether you are intentionally looking for the classroom or not. Even though you might not be in school-mode, it never hurts to keep track of ideas you might come across.
3.) Purge what you don’t need
“Purge, purge, purge. The kids love getting free stuff from school. I send home items that I will not be using the following year or used items I’d rather start the year off with fresh. This helps me clear out the old, yet not be wasteful.” – Michelle M.
“I’’m a huge advocate for purging! This year I also made a huge effort to move all PDFs onto my google drive!” -Laura A.
4.) Review what went well
“Make a list of things you liked and didn’t like from the year. That way you won’t forget what you wanted to do when school starts back up!” – Jessica B.
5.) Think about next year
“Have a back to school box (or boxes)! I make copies before the end of school of what I’ll need the first week of school so I don’t have to deal with waiting.” – Jennifer P.
6.) Prepare assessments
“Make copies of assessments you want to get done in the beginning of the year. I make packets of math and reading that have a wide range. That way I’m ready to assess all my kids first thing once we’re back no matter what their levels may be!” – Kate W.
I always like to have copies of data sheets on hand that are easy to grab and go. Grab free data sheets here.
7.) Organize the important stuff
“I put all the things I need to unpack first in one box: scissors, stapler with staples, my teacher writing stuff, dry erase tape, command hooks, etc and put them in the cabinet closest to my desk.” – Sarah I.
8.) Remove batteries from EVERYTHING
“Take the batteries out of everything. And I mean everything. Nothing is worse than coming back to battery acid corrosion on your stuff.” – Amanda G.
9.) Keep to a schedule!
“Keep kids on their regular routine for as long as possible! It may sound fun to have a “movie day” while you attempt to pack the room, but behaviors will skyrocket! As much regularity as possible is really helpful for them.” – McAlister H.
10.) Enjoy, relax, and recharge.
Teacher brain is hard to turn off. We love our students and want them to succeed more than anything.
While it’s okay to do some work over the summer (especially work that will help make next year easier), please remember to take time for yourself. Have a spa day, hit up the community pool, pack a picnic at the park.
Enjoy this time and remember YOU ARE AN AWESOME TEACHER AND YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.