How to Enjoy (Survive) the End of the Year



There is nothing I love more than the end of the school year. Just kidding, I could name 100 things I love more. However, it happens. EVERY. YEAR. So, here are seven tips to help you survive enjoy the end of the school year. 

#1 Plan fun activities. This is the perfect time to do that paper mache project you never had time for. Or a good time to pull out the iPods and make classroom commercials. I love and hate the last month of school, because the fun projects make school exciting, but the kids are restless for summer (so is the teacher!). 
#2 Go outside. Go on a nature walk, clean up the school grounds, throw in some extra P.E. time, whatever it takes to enjoy being outside. My classroom only had one tiny window, so it was nice when we could create a lesson that forced us to enjoy the great outdoors. 
#3 Research projects. This may sound crazy, because you probably did research projects GALORE during the school year, but now kids can research what they want instead of what the standards want. If a student really loves science and wants to do a research project on volcanoes, let him. Maybe another student really enjoys art and wants to study the Renaissance? Awesome--DO IT! The last few weeks of school are perfect for individual research projects. 
#4 Get the students involved in clean up. It always seemed like a daunting class to prepare my classroom for summer. You might think, "You are a teacher, can't you just leave your classroom setup all summer?" The simple answer is no. The complicated answer is, because the carpets need to be cleaned, the desks washed, some schools host summer camps, or countless other reasons that claim my classroom, really isn't mine during the summer. However, the students LOVE to help organize and clean. Make a list, and put those kids to work! I usually did this the last couple days of school.
#5 Make a slideshow of the year. My students loved it when we had our farewell party on the last day of school and watched a slideshow of pictures from the year. I would put it to music and secretly cry at my desk as I watched the year flash before me. I always remembered how sweet they were the last day of school!
#6 Relax. Yes! Remember to take time for yourself. Enjoy not being bombarded with testing, or homework. Relax and give yourself some down time. 
#7 Actually enjoy the end of the year, because you will never teach these kids again. You have had them for one year, and now they are moving on. It can be a humbling moment (or happy one, it really depends on the dynamic of your class for the year. Am I right?!). 

Happy End of the School Year!


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