We’ve done it! We’ve hit May and the official countdown has begun! If you’re anything like me, at this point you are simply running on fumes and everyone is just lucky that you made it to school with pants and the little patience you have left! There is so much left to do at this point and so little time to get it done, but fret not! There is light at the end of the tunnel and that tunnel’s end is quickly approaching. We just have to make sure that the train doesn’t crash before we get there. So, make sure that seat belt is on and get ready to ride…
1.) Get that coffee brewing, baby!
Start your day with a good ole cup o’ joe! If you think that you’re excited about the impending finale of the school year, just think about the group of 25 restless children who are also just as, if not more, keenly aware of how close their summer vacation is! You cannot handle the crazies if you, yourself, are not pepped up, energized, and on your ‘A’ game!
(Photo credit: Nathan Dumlao)
2.) Have a plan.
Whether you’re required to turn in plans or not, the last month should be full of plans. These don’t have to be explicit, descriptive, step by step plans with modifications, assessment explanations, reflections, and the whole she-bang. However, I would not survive the last month if I didn’t have a day by day game plan. I teach Spanish 1-2 times a week to groups in first through eighth grade. Everyone is on a different unit or lesson. Some groups test while others don’t. By the time I get to one group’s class, I don’t always remember what we did the week prior because everything gets jumbled up! To stay focused and organized, I make a very simple day by day (or week by week) plan on a Google Spreadsheet (stay tuned for my post on the many uses of Google in the classroom!) that acts as an excellent time management resource for the last week of school. On top of your school work, the end of the year also brings about many end of the year festivities such as field day and pow-wows! This gives you an excellent opportunity to internalize these events and not be surprised if you don’t have that class you planned on using for your final!!! (What a pain!) Check out your school’s calendar of events to make sure you include these! Create your own on Google Sheets. The left hand column has the date that we have class and the right hand column has our general plan overview for that day. This is usually as simple as “No class: Talent Show”, “Kahoot Review: Palabras Interrogativas” or “Unit Test: Los Pronombres”. Talk about a game changer!
3.) Create a to-do list!
There are so many things to do on my end of the year to-do list. I am constantly adding things to this. The key is to make sure you have your list ready to go so that you can see, revise, and add things as they come to you. Don’t tell yourself that you will add that item to the list later. With everything else going on, we’re bound to forget! Here are a few (haha!) of the things I currently have on my list:
- Organize text books
- Throw out dry markers
- Print out unit tests
- Print out review packets
- Make a cleaning schedule list
- Create a job list for students
- Make list of anything that needs repair (technology, wall paint, chairs etc)
- Create explicit last week of school list.
- Send textbook order to office
- Return borrowed dice and baskets
- Write letters to homeroom students
The Pinspired Teacher has some great products to help organize your lists!
Click here to go to The Pinspired Teacher’s TPT page.
4.) Stay on top of things!
We’re at the end and you’re running on steam but just dive in. Don’t put those tests on the back burner to grade later. Don’t wait until the morning of to plan your day out. Just go for it. These things pile up and boy do they pile up fast. Nothing stresses me out more than a huge pile of papers to grade with minimal time to get it done. Listen to Nike and “Just do it!” You got this. Then, mark that bad boy off of your to-do list. Doesn’t that feel so good!
5.) Expect ruined plans (and be ready to deal with them)
Expect plans ruined by impromptu events and unforeseen circumstances. No matter how well you have planned your last few weeks, there is bound to be some sort of issue or unplanned event that messes up your immaculately and strategically created schedule. Unfortunately, there is nothing your can really do to fix this or even plan for it. Just don’t let it kill your vibe. Which brings us to our next tip:
(Photo Credit: Steve Johnson)
6.) Just breathe.
…and breathe again. Deep breaths. It will be fine. The end is in sight and everything will fall in to place. You can stress or you can just relax. Either way, the end of the year is going to come. Try not to place unnecessary stress on yourself. You’ve got this. Pace yourself.
7.) Treat yourself (because you are a warrior)
Read that book. Take that walk. Buy that thing you wanted the other day. You deserve it. You are in the winner’s circle! (BTW, Happy Derby Day!)
(Photo Credit: Joanna Kosinska)