If you’re reading this, chances are you are looking for tips and tricks for the end of the school year. I don’t know about you, but it’s officially THAT time of year for me! Of course, I’m talking about the end of the school year. No matter what you teach, keep reading to get some tips and tricks for the end of the school year!
Tip # 1 – End of the Year Inventory
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but…. glue bottles on sale for 15 cents during school supplies is a great deal. But, not if you already have 2,592 of them in your closet.
At the end of every year, my team and I inventory everything. Glue bottles, pencils, pens, dry erase markers, cardstock, literally every consumable that we (or the kids) might use. We keep our list on a Google Doc so that the entire team can see it. And, as we buy things, we change the list to reflect the new inventory. This prevents everyone from buying pencils, not realizing that there are no paperclips for next year.
You can be as specific as you want in terms of brands or sizes, and even include a column to show how many you would like to have. That helps people know how many you have and how many you would like to start the year off with.
Tip # 2 – Standard Operating Procedures
This trick I just started doing a few years ago, and I’m so mad it took me that long! I’m a big believer in Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Have you ever done something, gone back to do the exact same thing a few weeks later, and suddenly you have no idea how you did it the first time? SOPs will save you from that vicious circle. This August, when you are inevitably trying to figure out how to set up your gradebook, or create a new online classroom, write down each step as you do it. Then, next year, you will have your own “how-to” manual of how to get ready for the year.
Tip 2 (Part 2) – As you start to clean out things this year, especially digital files, make a list of everything you are getting rid of so that you know what you need to restart next year. For instance, I need new desktop folders for all of my kids, I need new GoodNotes folders for all of my kids, new billing documents, etc. As I archive the old files, I make a list so I know exactly what I need to create next year.
Tip # 3 – Photograph EVERYTHING
Ok, admit it. You have one area in your room that you just LOVE. Whether it’s a bulletin board, a shelf, a student supply bin, or your teacher desk, there is at least one thing in your room that is perfect. Before you start packing it all up, take a picture of it. That way, next year you will remember exactly how you had it set up and won’t waste time trying to figure out what you are missing.
Tip # 4 – End of the Year Swap Meet
Friends, teachers are hoarders. And that’s ok. Until it’s not. If you have tons of stuff that you aren’t using, consider having a ‘swap meet’ in the hallway. Everyone puts their
junk prized possessions in the hallway, for others to come by and take. Then, you can peruse and see if there is anything someone else is getting rid of that you want! But, be careful in what you are grabbing – the point is to clean out, not bring back more stuff!
Tip # 5 – Do It Right the First Time
If I’m being honest, I start to get in summer vacation mode around April. That’s when I start to let things slide, be less concerned with things, and start to dream of vacation. And, this is all fine and good. But, trust me when I say that is NOT how you want to pack up and clean up for summer vacation. I can’t stand it when I leave Friday afternoon with a messy desk and come into a hot mess on Monday morning. Trust me when I say leaving a classroom in a ‘blah’ state in June is a terrible thing to come back to in August.
Do your best to get things packed up correctly. Organize and clean out as you go. Don’t leave messes or things to sort until August. We all know how crazy the beginning of the year can be. You don’t need any extra chaos. Work to get your room as perfect as can be in June, so that when you roll back in it is ready to go!
Wrapping It Up
If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big believer in being prepared and having a plan. Did you miss this previous post I wrote with tons of great life tips? I love having things ready to go and done early. I hate waiting until the last minute, and preparing for back to school season – for me really does start at the end of the year. Do you have any more tips and tricks for the end of the school year? Let me know in the comments!