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Teacher Tips

How to End the Year Like a Boss

End the Year Like a Boss!

The end is near… can you feel it? What does it feel like to you? Is it your toes in the sand? Is it a margarita in your hand? Is it turning off your alarm clock? Is it losing track of the days? Oh yes… the end is near!

5 Steps to End the School Year

Now, back to the current task at hand: finishing the year. The End of the Year can be one of the craziest times for a teacher. Our To-Do List goes on and on! We have state testing, end of the year assessments, report cards, class placements, cleaning your classroom, packing up, and don’t forget that small task of providing your students with memorable activities that you want them to remember you for! We are here to give you advice on how we End the Year LIKE A BOSS!

1. What are You Waiting For? Get Going!

Step 1: Make a To Do List and Get Started!

As mentioned before, a teacher’s To-Do List is a mile long! Make a list of all of the things that you need to do before that glorious day when you get into your car and pull out of the parking lot. (By the way, is there any better moment?)

Sort your To-Do List into tasks that you can get done now and tasks that have to wait. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when to get the next task done. Getting your end of the year tasks done early will help you feel less stressed and less overwhelmed!

End of Year Resources for Teachers

Editable End of the Year Checklist

End of the Year Teacher Reflection and Surveys

2. Give Your Students What They Want… YOU!

Step 2: Give your students YOU!

Getting your To-Do List in order will help you focus on the most important aspect of teaching… your students! Take your time to enjoy your students! You worked so hard with them all year, so enjoy them! Make the time to do some fun activities that you normally don’t have time for in your regular school day. Build those relationships! Smile with them! Is there a time that you could play kickball? What about grabbing a blanket and reading outside under a tree? Take the time to create special moments with your students that they will remember forever!

3. Reminisce

Step 3: Reminisce about your year!

Look back at your year with your students. Take a morning and have your students fill out a memory from your year together on a slip of paper and have them add it to a jar. Whenever you have a spare moment, pull out a memory and read it to your class!

Create a Memory Jar!

Here’s why we love this activity:

  1. Memories build relationships. Relationships are the most important part of teaching!
  2. These memories are a feedback tool for you! If your students enjoyed a particular activity, be sure you repeat it with your students next year! Take note of common responses! Notice what your students value and build on that for the following year!

4. No Prep Fun

Step 4: No prep End of the Year FUN!

Just because you made a To-Do List doesn’t mean that you checked everything off already! Trust us, we get it! You need time to get things done, but your students also need to be provided with some quality “End of the Year Fun!” Grab some No Prep End of the Year resources to keep your students busy, while you keep checking off that mile long list of things to do!

No Prep End of the Year FUN!

Click the Image Above or the Individual Links Below to Check out some No Prep End of the Year Activities!

30 No Prep End of the Year Activities

End of the Year Packin’ My Bags File Folder Activity

End of the Year Brochures

End of the Year Bingo

5. Look Ahead

Step 5: Look ahead to NEXT year!

If there’s anything more crazy than the End of the Year, it’s the Beginning of the Year! Are we right?! Ask yourself: “What can I do THIS year that will help me NEXT year?”

Here’s what we ALWAYS make sure we do before leaving for summer vacation:

  1. Give next year’s students a welcoming letter, a summer challenge, and a school supply list! This might seem a little overwhelming, but it’s not! How do you know which students you will get? You don’t! Get with your whole grade level and make a common supply list! Then, pass these things out to the ENTIRE grade level below you that will enter your grade next year! Click HERE!
  2. Bulletin Boards! Plan and prep your bulletin boards for Back to School! Can you leave your boards up? Great! Get them all ready so you are ready to roll! Have to take them down? Plan your boards out and have everything ready to put up when you get back!
  3. Plan! Get with your team and plan the first few weeks of school. How will you start the year off? Get your lesson plans done so that when you get back, you will have one less thing to do! Want to see how we plan for our whole year and teach every standard? We have a blog post just for you! CLICK HERE!
  4. Copies! Want to know when the copy room is empty? The end of the year! Everyone is so focused on short activities for their students and finishing up things they didn’t get to throughout the year that the copy room is a ghost town! Get in there and prep the first few weeks of school! You will thank yourself next year! We promise!
Welcoming Letter for Next Year's Students
End Your Year Like a Boss!



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5 Things to Do LESS of When Going Back to School

5 Tips for Back to School... Why LESS is MORE!

Back to School: Why LESS is MORE!

Going Back to School? It’s one of the most exciting, yet most stressful times of the year for teachers! There is so much to do! Where do you even start? We are here to give you some Back to School advice on what to do LESS of during these hectic first days of school!

Spend Less When Going Back to School

Spend Less

Problem: We’ve all been to Target, Michael’s, Walmart (or even a little late night Amazon browsing) and have made impulse purchases on something that was “really cute” or something that you “really needed.” Now, a month later into school, you are realizing that you really didn’t NEED it… you WANTED it. Often, these little items from the “Dollar Spot” turn to clutter and get thrown into a drawer never to be seen again.

Solution: Spend Less! Set a budget! Budgets are different for everyone. We have found that a manageable budget, for us, is $100. We NEVER spend more than $100 when going Back to School. Our budget really makes us prioritize our laundry list of supplies into what we NEED and what we WANT. Sit down and make this list and make it a goal to SPEND LESS this year!

FREEBIE ALERT! Grab these Back to School Teacher Planning Pages by Subscribing to our Newsletter!

Work Less When Going Back to School

Work Less

Problem: Our plates are FULL! No, wait, our plates are OVERFLOWING with tasks to complete when going Back to School. You could spend weeks setting up your classroom and organizing. There is no way to ever be “done.”

Solution: Work Less. Sounds impossible, right? Here’s our advice. Ask for help! Make a list of everything that you have to get done to feel prepared for the first day of school. Now, sort out these tasks into two columns. Label one column “Things I Have to Do” and ” Things Others Can Do for Me.” Some examples of “Things I Have to Do” are: lesson planning, seating arrangements, organizing copies/ handouts for Back to School. Some examples of “Things Others Can Do for Me” are: passing out books, running copies, or cleaning. Now… who can help you? Family? Friends? Former Students? We guarantee there is someone ready to help you… just pay them in chocolate… or Starbucks! If you simply cannot find anyone to help you, get your “Things I Have to Do” list done and let the other side go. Plan it for another day. You are the only one who will really know that the bookshelf needs to be dusted!

FREEBIE ALERT! Grab these Back to School Teacher Planning Pages by Subscribing to our Newsletter!

Plan Less When Going Back to School

Plan Less

Problem: You planned so many amazing, wonderful, fun activities for the first day of school that you rushed your students through them and tried to get it all done, but still had some activities left at the end of the day. You’re exhausted and so are your students. They left in chaos and then went home to tell their parents about the crazy day they had. YIKES!

Solution: Plan Less. Prioritize. List everything that you want to do on the first day of school. Look at your time blocks for your day. Plan one activity/ lesson for each time block. Now, make a list of smaller activities that you COULD do if you had some extra time. Remember, your students are coming into your classroom after being on summer break. They work at a slower pace than your students did at the end of last year. They will get less done. It’s better to have a calm environment on day one than a day full of chaos and being rushed. Let your students enjoy the day and leave feeling excited to come back!

FREEBIE ALERT! Grab these Back to School Teacher Planning Pages by Subscribing to our Newsletter!

Talk Less When Going Back to School

Talk Less

Problem: As teachers, we have so many routines to go over and for some reason, we feel like we need to go over all of them on Day 1. We speed through all of our procedures and then on Day 2, none of our students remember a thing because they tuned us out after 10 min (if we’re lucky!). We leave at the end of the day hoarse and exhausted from talking all day.

Solution: Talk Less. Don’t talk just for the sake of talking. Got a long list of procedures to go over? Explain them as they come up and check them off your list. Students will remember them more when they are actually doing the routine rather than listening to how it’s done. Also, provide some downtime for students in your first days of school. Have some time where there is silence, some calming classical music, or time where students are doing the talking. Some examples are Silent Reading, writing, sharing about their summer or art! Find a way to talk less in your first days back to school.

FREEBIE ALERT! Grab these Back to School Teacher Planning Pages by Subscribing to our Newsletter!

Procrastinate Less When Going Back to School

Procrastinate Less

Problem: Going back to school is so crazy that I don’t even remember what I did last year! I guess I have to start from scratch and figure it all out again this year!

Solution: Procrastinate Less. This is going to sound a little crazy, but here it goes anyways. Start planning for next year’s back to school season NOW! Yup! You read that right! As you are doing “all the things,” write them down. Make a list of what worked and things you would like to change. This way, you are not reinventing the wheel every year. File the list in a file labeled, “Back to School.” It’s as simple as that! Now, it’s sitting there waiting for you to be ULTRA prepared for next year’s hectic Back to School season!

FREEBIE ALERT! Grab these Back to School Teacher Planning Pages by Subscribing to our Newsletter!

FREEBIE ALERT! Grab these Back to School Teacher Planning Pages by Subscribing to our Newsletter!

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Going Back to School?

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Ready to Use Back to School Resources!

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We would love to hear from you!

We’d love to hear any advice that you have for the beginning of the year!

What works? What doesn’t?