Out with the old, and in with the new! This is your philosophy this month. Production time may be the last thing that you are thinking about this month, but if you stay on top of things and don’t lose your momentum, you will thank yourself in August. As tired as you are, think about your future self and both how difficult it is to transition out of the summer and how busy you will become with daily tasks in the fall.
Picture this: you return to school in August, possibly with a fresh tan and memories of “ME TIME,” and you begin to unpack your things that you seemingly JUST packed. At this moment, you can begin your year by becoming overwhelmed with what needs to be completed, or you can be thanking your past self for looking out for your future self.
Try to be EXCELLENT to yourself! Wrap up your year with continued momentum, and make yourself proud in August that you did not leave boxes of junk for your future self to sort through in August.
The following is a list of things that you can do to wrap up your year so that you do not hate yourself in the future.
Wrapping Up the School Year
Students Transitioning to Another Campus
- Think about building Student Work Binders for future teachers. Don’t overload the binders, but rather, carefully select materials to showcase each students’ abilities. Include notes and helpful strategies for new teachers. This binder assists in the generalization of knowledge and skills from the present school year to the next year. Also, the binder from the sending teacher to the receiving teacher will provide key information and data with instructional strategies for the student.
- If possible, also create a Student Support binder for your student with pictures of the new campus, classroom, and teacher(s). Create a social story to prepare the student for the transition or create a video with the phone to capture the new campus, classroom, and teacher.
- Shred any unnecessary confidential documents.
- Take inventory of your personal materials. It is possible that some materials may need to be retired or have pieces replaced. This review of your classroom will help you identify what you may need to find and produce for next year.
- Update Classroom Inventory Report –Your district has purchased classroom materials for your student’s education. They most certainly will want you to provide an inventory at the end of the year, so you might as well be proactive. Keep track of inventory numbers, and be careful to note wear or missing pieces.
- Box up and label activities. Note the level of the activities so that you can pull what you need when you see your new roll in September. However, find the delicate balance between being a packrat and a prepared teacher. Don’t clutter your room with activities that aren’t appropriate for your needs.
Close Out ARD Folders
Go through your students’ campus folders. Make sure that you’ve filed away all necessary paperwork, including all IEP progress reports and archived ARD paperwork. You never know if a student will move over the summer, and you want their future teacher to be empowered with all of the information you have gathered. The information you collect ensures that all the hard work you and your student accomplished was not in vain, as their future teacher will not waste unnecessary time.
Activities for Next Year
Begin production on the activities that you gathered last month that you know you will need for the following year. This is going to mean a lot of printing, laminating and cutting as the school year wraps up, but there’s no better feeling than walking into your room in August, drowning in schedules and behavior visuals, student paperwork and parent emails, and knowing that you at least have solid activities to work with at the beginning of the year. First-year teachers don’t have this advantage when they begin in August, but if you make this your yearly habit, you will gradually build your library of activities with minimal pressure.
Celebrate Your Paraprofessionals
Make sure that your paraprofessionals know that you appreciate all their hard work. You’ve depended on them all year, and they should know how important they are. If you did not have solid relationships with them this school year, let this time be the time that you turn it around to make next year a better year. Inspire them to be an integral part of the team by listening to their feedback and letting them know that you will plan with their input in mind. This may not come naturally to everyone, but you must be a professional, and you must think about progress, not only with your students but also with your staff.
You have come a long way since August, and you have probably learned as much as your students have. Take some time to reflect and rejuvenate. Your passion and dedication are critical for your students. This summer, if you have time, read something inspirational.
Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories
Perspective broadening literature - written by R. J. Palacio, this book provides three perspectives to Auggie's world and is a follow up story to major motion picture, "Wonder."View Resource - Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories
Out of My Mind
Prospective broadening literature - written by Sharon M. Draper, this is a story about a young girl with cerebral palsy who is not defined by her disability.View Resource - Out of My Mind
Cindy Bentley: Spirit of a Champion
Prospective broadening literature - written by Bob Kann, this is a story about a young girl with cerebral palsy who is not defined by her disability.View Resource - Cindy Bentley: Spirit of a Champion
This Kid Can Fly: It’s About Ability (Not Disability)
Prospective broadening literature - written by Aaron Philip, this is a story about a young girl with fetal alcohol syndrome who is not defined by her disability.View Resource - This Kid Can Fly: It’s About Ability (Not Disability)
The Resilience Break-Through
Written by Christian Moore, this book is all about developing resilience.View Resource - The Resilience Break-Through