The end of the school year is here! In the following guide, read about ten tips for surviving the final weeks of school and finishing the year strong. Engage your class, beat burnout, and conquer the crazy end of the school year. Let’s do this!
With the sun shining through your classroom windows and a warm breeze stirring thoughts of summer vacation, it’s fair to say your students’ minds aren’t the only ones wandering at this time of year! Even so, do your best to stay present; your students have spent the entire school year acclimating to your classroom and forming a special bond with you and their classmates. The end of the year brings about change, both welcomed and difficult, and your little ones are counting on you to guide them through the transition.
The final weeks of school bring many exciting events and occasions, from field days and assemblies to field trips and final reports. With all of the hustle and bustle, it’s more important than ever to stick to a routine your class can count on, at least most of the time. Your classroom routine serves as an anchor for students during the excitement and chaos of the last days of school.
Are your little ones practically fidgeting right out of their seats at this time of the year? Offer plenty of breaks for their brains and bodies by encouraging them to get up and get moving. Take a five-minute stretch break; play a classroom game like Scoot that gets everyone up out of their seats; or blow off some steam on the playground or a class walk.
Take advantage of the warmer weather and take learning outdoors. Choose a riveting read-aloud for story time under a tree, play sidewalk chalk math games, or use journals for creative writing time outside. Getting outside is a great way to break up the day, offer a change of scenery, and engage students in learning beyond the classroom.
Attitudes are contagious, and it’s worth it to check yours often during the last days of school. Of course, it’s a notoriously stressful and chaotic time for teachers, but a positive perspective really does go a long way in helping your class enjoy the end of the year. If you are still enthusiastic and engaged, it will be easier for them to have a positive attitude too.
By the end of the school year, teachers are doing everything possible to finish well while not completely burning out in the process. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Get back to basics by making sure you are eating well and getting enough sleep, and make time for the things and people you love. Summer is almost here!
You and your students have made many memories together this year! Take some time to reflect on the year with your students and remember all the important achievements and memorable moments. Do a guided journal activity, make memory books, or simply give students an opportunity to talk about their favorite memories from the past year—it’s a great way to bring closure to the school year.
It can be so tough at this point in the school year to face each day filled with fidgeting, outbursts, extra chatter, and shorter attention spans with the same patience and perseverance you started with on the first day of school. Give yourself and your students lots of grace, and remember as best as you can that you’re all feeling a little worn thin by the end of the school year. As hard as it is, keep checking your patience meter and refilling your tank as needed.
Cleaning house at the end of the school year is a great feeling for teachers and a great opportunity to get students involved in your year-end decluttering routine. Take a few minutes or more every day in the final weeks of the school year to purge paperwork, sort through the supply closets, organize bookshelves and bins, and sanitize surfaces. Ask students to help you with everything from throwing away broken crayons and dry markers to clearing out the cubbies.
Even though you’d much rather think about the upcoming summer break than the school year ahead, take the opportunity to consider what you’ll need for back-to-school time. Are there anchor charts from this year you want to save? Bulletin board displays you want to replicate? How about your classroom set-up? Take pictures so you won’t forget, and tuck important resources away for safe-keeping. That will make the return to school just a little bit easier in the fall.
Finally, remember to give your class plenty of opportunities to review the math skills they have worked so hard to master this year. Use I Know It math activities during review sessions in the classroom and at home. Digital math games are a great way to refresh important math skills at the end of the school year.
We hope these tips help you navigate the end of the school year with grace and (a little more) ease. We’re proud of our amazing educators, and we commend you and your students for another incredible year in the books. Hats off to you!