The final weeks of the school year mean distracted and antsy students, mountains of grading, and special events that turn your schedule upside down.
We’ve got the tips you need to make surviving the end of the school year possible.
25+ Tips to Get You Through the End of the School Year
It can take a monumental amount of energy to get through the last few weeks of the school year.
Between field trips and field days, assessments, and summer fever, you can feel like a bird flying in a hurricane.
With these tips and tricks, you can focus your energy where it’s needed and finish well. You’ve got this!
Everyone is tired and overwhelmed at the end of the school year. Some students may feel anxiety about the end-of-year assessments or the transition to the next grade.
Be positive in your speech and outlook. Project an upbeat attitude about what is ahead.
Inspire your students to finish well and to work hard until that final bell rings!
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Stick to Routine When You Can
The end of the school year has a lot of exciting opportunities like field trips, assemblies, and special activities.
But for some kids, these variations from the norm can cause stress.
Whenever possible, stick with the routine that you have been following all year.
This will be a welcome reprieve for those who thrive in regularity.
Yes, this is the flip side of the previous tip. You may be one of those people who thrive in routine.
The end of the school year can be very challenging because each day brings something new.
Take a breath. Tell yourself, “I can go with the flow. I will adjust when I need to.”
Give yourself a little pep talk when you feel irked or stressed by all the changes to the norm.
You set the tone for your students. Your relaxed and centered state will help them to feel likewise.
Get into Nature
If you have the opportunity to go outside during school time, take it.
Just being outside can lessen the stress of the end of the year.
It’s also a great energy release for antsy students.
Make It Hands On
It can be a challenge to keep students engaged in learning at the end of the school year.
Thankfully, hands-on activities are always a win. Lean into them during the final weeks.
Rely on Team Building Activities
You have been building classroom community all year. Your students are primed to work together well.
The end of the school year is a great time for team projects, hands-on cooperative activities, and peer learning and review.
Rely on Brain Breaks for Much-Needed Stress Release
You may need to add more brain breaks into your schedule.
It will lower the stress level in your classroom and raise the fun quotient.
Don’t Forget Your Hooks
You are tired at the end of the school year, and students are often less attentive.
Your lesson openers, those hooks that grab the students’ attention, have never been more important.
Bring in a visual aid, tell a funny story, ask an imaginative question…find ways to snag your students’ interest.
Add Some Humor
Find ways to inject humor into the day.
Start your day with a joke, find funny memes, sing silly songs…laugh together before the close of the year.
Do Not Forget Self-Care
You have been at this job for 180 days. You need the summer break as much as the students!
Make sure you don’t run out of gas in this final stretch. Take care of yourself. Drink plenty of water. Get adequate rest. Eat nutritious food.
Start the Day with Quiet Time
With all the hubbub at the end of the year, you will wear yourself down.
Take some time at the start of the day to center yourself.
Start the Day with a Smoothie
When your schedule gets tight, morning nutrition is often the first thing to go.
Try a quick and easy solution: the smoothie.
You can make yourself a portable breakfast that has all the necessary vitamins and nutrients to get you through the morning.
Do Some Grading Every Day
As teachers, you always tell your students not to procrastinate. Take a page from your own book.
The end-of-year grading can pile up fast. Tackle a little every day to keep the pile at bay.
Count Down in a Fun Way
You and your students will love counting down the days until summer (especially if you do it in a fun way).
Dedicate a bulletin board to the task.
Make flip cards, pop balloons, peel off sticky notes to reveal a joke…find a way to count down the remaining days together.
Share Stories Together
Take time to recount your memories from the year. Share a story a day.
You can share an achievement, a memorable activity, or a laughable moment (e.g., “Remember when the bee flew in the classroom during the spelling test?”).
You can help ease anxiety and build excitement about the next grade.
Check out these ways to smooth the transition to the next grade.
You’ve Climbed a Mountain, So Enjoy the View
Your students have learned so much this past year. Take a moment to tally it up.
Make a list on some chart board, print it for your class newsletter, or simply read aloud the list while your kids pat themselves on the back.
Your students should take the time to bask in their accomplishments. It’s important to enjoy the view!
Try Reflection Writing Prompts
The end of the school year is so chock-a-block with activities that students can rush through it without taking time to reflect on their personal growth and accomplishments.
Dedicate some of your writing time to reflection (you can also do this for art).
Assign prompts such as “How have you grown in your math/reading skills this year?” or “What are you most proud of from the year and why?”
These types of questions are important to consider; they also help bring closure to the year.
Make a Class Video
A class video is a fun synthesis between hands-on projects, reflection, and cooperative learning.
You can assign any prompt to groups of students and record the results.
They can sing songs, recite memorized content, perform skits, or do interviews.
Recognize and Celebrate Achievement
Most every school has an end-of-year awards ceremony, but most students do not get an award.
Hold your own class awards ceremony where you recount the achievements of each and every student.
Get Your End of Year Gifts Early
The end of the school year is so crammed with activities and responsibilities that some items can fall through the cracks.
Order your end-of-year gifts early so you have them ready to go for the last day (and you don’t have to pay rush shipping).
Get Organized for Next Year (Only at the Very End)
Although you may be tempted to get a jump on your end-of-year packing, don’t get going too soon.
It is depressing for a student to sit in a classroom with bare walls and packed-up supplies.
Save your packing for after the students leave.
You can always organize your cabinets in the meantime! The students can’t see inside them!
Remember Your Room Set Up
Take pictures of your room set up or draw a diagram of exactly where the various pieces of furniture go.
This will save you valuable time when you reset your room in the fall.
Befriend the Trash Can
Once the school year is over, you need to sort through your stuff. Be liberal in what you throw away.
Everything else, pack up systematically in bins. Label everything.
Next fall, you will be thankful you took the time to lighten, sort, and store.
Save Your Planner
Even though you will be liberally throwing away items, don’t touch your planner.
This year’s planner is a reminder of everything you did. You will want to reference it next year.
Limit Yourself to a Tote Bag
While you may want to undertake some professional development over the summer or rework some lesson planning, limit yourself to only a few items.
You need a break.
Take only a couple of professional development books and a couple of school books. If it won’t fit in a single tote bag, keep it in the classroom.
Surviving the End of the School Year
The end of the school year can be the high note of your year. It’s a time to reap the benefits of all the knowledge and community you have cultivated during the year.
It’s also a time to create lasting memories for you and the students.
You can also set the stage for success in the upcoming year.
With these tips and tricks, you won’t just be surviving the end of the school year, you’ll be thriving.