Is the end of the year getting you down? I know…it’s overwhelming. There’s so much to do. From end of grade testing to finishing report cards to updating each individual student’s permanent records – it leaves us drained every.single.day.
With over 16 years in the classroom, I’ve managed to come up with an end-of-year checklist to make life a little easier. This checklist includes a little bit of everything. If you’re like me you’re swamped with so much to do that you don’t even want to think about next year. This checklist will help you keep your sanity and hopefully make the beginning of a new school year much easier!
One thing I always liked to do before packing up my classroom is to take a few pictures. I took pictures of my room arrangement, bulletin boards I might want to recreate, and bookshelves that housed my math manipulative, centers, supplies, etc. I would refer to the pictures to help me recreate my classroom style when I put my classroom back together again. This always made setting up my room the following year so much easier!
Tip: Before packing up, consider taking a few pictures of how your classroom looks. Did you like a particular bulletin board or your room arrangement? If so, you might want to duplicate or recreate your classrooms style at the beginning of the next school year. Your pictures will come in handy!
After that, I would start the checklist with things I could do before students leave. Even young students can help clean and pack up the classroom, so get those little helpers busy! I always had a stack of unused worksheets that I sent home with students for the summer. They may or may not have completed them, but I took the chance that maybe they would work on those extra math review sheets or reading passages instead of just throwing them in the recycling bin.
Tip: Instead of recycling those piles of extra worksheets and printables try sending them home with students to complete over the summer.
Next – clean, organize and purge. Yes, I said PURGE! Get rid of those dried up Expo Markers. Have students test the markers on the whiteboard and throw away any that doesn’t work anymore. Toss those glue sticks that no longer have lids.
What happens to the lids of glue sticks anyway?!? Do they eat them? I’ll never understand that phenomenon.
Clean out and organize filing cabinets, bins, baskets, and tubs. You don’t want to come back to that mess next year. One thing I always do before leaving for the summer is clean up my inbox. Yep, delete those old emails and respond to any emails that you might have overlooked. Who wants to think about cleaning up school email over the summer, huh?
Tip: Respond, delete, and clean out school email before leaving for the summer.
Paperwork. Ah…the dreaded paperwork. It’s not going anywhere, so set aside time where you can sit down quietly in your classroom – or at home – to finish up final grades, gather and organize important student data and documents, and update student records.
Tip: Be intentional with your time. Set aside a time to finish up report cards, organize student documents, and update student records.
Take inventory! Custodians are famous for moving our things around over the summer. In the past, I’ve walked in my school over the summer and found my whole classroom sitting in the hall while custodians are hard at work cleaning my carpet and polishing the tile. My first thoughts are, “Are all my things going to get put back in my room?” Just in case they don’t, organize and count textbooks, workbooks, manipulatives, supplies, classroom library baskets, etc. Label your desk, chair, bookshelves, filing cabinets, personal items, etc. Hopefully, by doing this your items will be returned even if they accidentally get placed in another teacher’s classroom.
Tip: Label everything! Classroom items get moved around over the summer. Take a minute to label your desk, chair, bookshelves, filing cabinets, personal items, etc.
Extend the life of your electronics by turning them off. This includes unplugging lamps, pencil sharpeners, speakers, computers, interactive whiteboards, laptops, iPads, Chromebooks, etc. Anything electronic should be turned off and shut down over the summer. I’m sure the fire marshal would agree, too! I also like to cover up my computers and printers with sheets. This keeps the dust off and ensures that I don’t have to vacuum out dusty computers and printers when I return.
Tip: Turn off and shut down all electronics over the summer.
And last, take home any plants that require watering. This also applies to any animals that require feeding! 😉 Check the staff lounge and make sure you have gathered all your personal food containers from the fridge. No one wants to clean those out after the food has molded over the summer. Classrooms are typically left open over the summer so that custodial staff can clean. So, be sure to take any money or valuables stored in your desk home. Also, I know you will plan amazing new lessons and units over the summer. Don’t forget to take your teacher planner and any curriculum materials you might need with you when you leave.
Tip: Take your teacher planner and curriculum materials home over the summer so you have what you need when you sit down to work on those amazing new lessons and units for your upcoming new students!
That highlights a small portion of the checklist, but there’s so much more that you don’t want to forget! Download your FREE End-of-Year Teacher Checklist here, and get started ending another amazing school year! I promise this will make starting a new school year a breeze!