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Another End of the School Year

May 20, 2011

Quite possibly, May and June may be the busiest months of the year. In classrooms everywhere, teachers and students are frantically finishing projects, rushing to meet goals, and reflecting on past and future accomplishments.

While there is joy in the growth students and teachers have experienced, there is a quiet sadness and some fear of the unknown as students prepare to move to the next level and teachers gently push them on. Classroom teachers are also quietly preparing NOW for next year’s new crop of students.

At Thriving we are huge fans of lists as tools for organization. We strongly urge educators to begin the process of organization now, to end the year and prepare for next year with as little stress and as much joy as possible. Don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments, even as time is flying by.

Below is a sample”To Do” list for the end of the school year from our book, From Surviving to Thriving: Mastering the Art of the Elementary Classroom. Personalize it to fit your needs.

Checklist – Last Week of School

  • Clean out classroom files and piles.
  • Throw out old materials that have not been used for two years or more.
  • Discard old and tattered wall posters, borders, and bulletin board papers.
  • Make a list of everything that needs repairing, replacing, and/or removing.
  • Assemble student and teacher materials that need to be updated or revised.
  • Make a list of resources that will be needed to create units and lesson plans that need enrichment.
  • Write thank you notes to those students who brought gifts on the last day of school.  Maintain a list of students and their home addresses for future reference.
  • Write thank you notes to staff members.
  • Construct a school calendar for the upcoming school year.  Record dates for summer meetings and for the beginning of the school year.
  • Mark the date when final class lists of students for next year, with their home addresses, will be available.
  • Organize and clean off your computer files.  Move documents into portable storage devices and organize in folders by topic (parent letters, team building activities, science units, math units).

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