When you’re SOOOO tired in May or June, it can feel impossible to think about how to get ready for next school year!
Maybe you didn’t even want to read this post based on it’s title: Getting Ready for Next Year.
I know, I know. We are all dreaming of a pool float and a margarita right now! (Writing this while I still have 6 weeks of school left!)
But if you’re still here, may I suggest a technique that has saved me a GREAT deal of time and stress??
During the last week of school, I find myself with some extra time. For me, Exam Week (whether midterms or finals) has a much calmer feel. During exam week, we are not also teaching, going to meetings, planning, filling out forms, etc. We have to administer and correct exams only. I started to notice that I had a bit more time in my day. And I started to notice how much of this extra time I was wasting!
The students leave by 12, and I have the afternoon to work on correcting exams. Fortunately, I am normally good at focusing when I need to correct, and during finals, students who had an A for the year are exempt. Therefore, I have less correcting! I find that on certain exam days, I have a lot more free time than on normal teaching days.
What I Used To Do
In years past, when I had this extra time at the end of the year, I would use it to do a variety of unproductive tasks. Visiting colleagues to talk about almost nothing, walking to to office to check my mailbox, going out to lunch instead of bring my own, and visiting more colleagues.
There should be a time and place for relationship-building with colleagues. But not all times!
How To Get Ready For Next School Year
This is what I REALLY TRY to do with my extra time so I don’t have to worry or come back to school in the summer!
🔅I decide on my bulletin board decor. I hang it up and cover it over with newspaper. (Great to get students to help with!)
🔅I update my beginning of the year papers. (Grading policy, letter to families, etc.)
🔅I archive all of my classes on Google classroom and other platforms I use. Then I create new ones for next year. Now my class codes are ready to go!
🔅I make lesson plans for Week 1. Some things never change! Certain activities are winners! If I know I will use them, I link them into my new lesson plans.
🔅CRAZY! I photocopy anything I KNOW I will need! Syllabus, grading policy, getting to know you games, etc.
Isn’t it the WORST to find yourself standing in line at the copier after a full day of PD when you are so stressed about starting with students? I stay in my room and take out the copies I made in June! Ahhhhhhh. It’s marvelous!
It does require a certain level of self-discipline to find the motivation to do this. But I tell myself- after I complete X task, I will go chat with my colleague, get a cup of coffee, etc. That really helps keep me on track.
I hope this can work for you too, amig@s. Have a wonderful end to your school year!