May 1, 2013
Wow! What a whirlwind year it has been. Sometimes I feel like every time I walk into my classroom, I get plugged into an outlet and the energy flows OUT of me! There is so much energy invested every day and the opportunities to recharge are so few. As we enter the last month of school, things tend to get even crazier. Ever wonder if your energy is going to stretch as far as the school calendar does? Here are some suggestions for maintaining a grip as the year winds down.
· As much as possible, maintain your classroom schedule and structure. It's so much easier to just keep on teaching.
· After your testing is finished and the pressure has eased, fit in some of those fun units and activities that you couldn’t fit in earlier.
· Plan, plan, plan. Look ahead and calendar special school events and activities. Plan around them and go with the flow when your schedule is disrupted.
· End-of-the-year is a good time to schedule a field trip to culminate a unit of study. Keep it tied to your curriculum objectives and hold kids accountable for learning, even though field trips are fun.
· Don’t get lax with behavior expectations. Stick to your rules and consequences, but ramp up praise and rewards for kids who also stick to the rules and expectations.
· Make a list of things you need to do to wrap up the year—reports and records that need to be completed, things that need to organized, major cleaning projects, thank you notes that need to be written, etc. Don’t rely on your memory. Lists are wonderful!
· When it comes time to put things away and clean, make a list of chores and assign students to specific tasks. Instruct them on exactly what they need to do and your expectations for task completion. Though you may not be eager to clean, they will be!
· Let your class earn a game time. Have them bring board games from home and then put them in groups to play each other’s games. This will free you up for a couple of hours to take care of tasks that only you can do.
· Make yourself a summer to-do list. Write down all those things that you would like to get done before coming back to school. Have a game that you would like to get made, files that need organized, books that need to be repaired or labeled? Make a list, then during the summer you can work on them at your leisure. Leisure. Love that word.