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It’s the end of the school year and you should be thinking how to prep for next year. Even though you absolutely don’t wanna think about it. All you wanna do is run home and nap for a week straight, might I suggest a few things to do so your back to school isn’t as busy? As tired as you are right now, you know how setting up a classroom is a different kind of exhausting. Returning to the same classroom in the fall? Save yourself some time and get a few things squared away now before you go. Plus, you’ll have 30 small helpers to get some of this done (always a bonus in my book!).
Anytime of Year Prep: Laminate Table Numbers
As a science teacher, I need my groups to have colors and numbers for each student. A while back, I stepped up my table number game and added a bio of different scientists from around the world. I figured while a kid was zoning out in class, at least they had something to read! Grab it here and print it off for your group tables. I print out the bios, and paste them to construction paper. Run them through the laminator. Then, have those busy little hands help you cut it all out. Side note- why do students love cutting lamination so much? It’s one of those activities that several students will argue over. Before summer break, find a spot to pack these so you can find them after summer break.
End of School Prep: Bulletin Boards
As a middle school teacher, I don’t have to have a new bulletin board every month. So my boards have some big idea posters that I can mostly set for the whole year. I like to set these up for the fall and then cover them with butcher paper for the summer. This way they are protected from summer cleaning. Added bonus- it’s like unwrapping a time saving present to yourself in August! I spend that time during state testing making mental notes about how I want to change my boards. It’s still fresh in my mind, so I might as well update them before I forget after a summer of sun, drinks and naps.
Prep Now: Clean (and clean out) your Closets and Bookshelves
Here is a very important end of the school year prep that benefits you- and future teachers. Please do the future teacher in your classroom a favor and don’t stockpile copies and old textbooks. I’ve seen too many first year teachers move into a classroom that is overfilled with useless stuff. They have to spend their first few days just cleaning out all the garbage left behind by the previous teacher. If you purge every year, then it won’t be that crazy when you move out in 5 (or 20) years. Get rid of copies (everything is digital now),contact your district to get rid of expired chemicals and donate science supplies to a school that will actually use them. Having less clutter to deal with when you return in August will allow you spend your energy planning for your students showing up in a few days, not getting rid of last year’s work.
Bonus Prep: Decide and make your hall pass system.
I have talked about my hall pass system before. Since I make my own passes, I like to have these done when I return. Then it takes 2 seconds to hang them up on the wall. So, find your color printer and print out whatever you need to make them. Create a space in your classroom that has these ready to go items. It will make you feel productive in August, when all you really did was hang up hall passes and tape table numbers down. Even though you spent that time wondering where you are gonna put that desk for that extra kid in your classes this year.
Those are some of my must do items before packing up before summer. Of course, if you are switching schools or rooms, you won’t be able to do all this. So prep what you can, and then unplug and relax during the summer. Tell us below how you prepare for next school year at the end of the year? I’m always looking for new ideas or teacher hacks!