The end of the school year is rapidly approaching for many of us, and wrapping everything up in an organized, efficient, and timely manner is incredibly important. Consider following this end-of-the-year checklist to ensure that you head off to your summer vacation with no worries, and return with everything in great shape for next fall. It's all part of good classroom management.
- Clean out student desks, cubbies, drawers, or lockers. This is a great project for students to help out and “do a good deed.” You can have students participate by rustling up lost markers, accounting for text and trade books, organizing bookshelves, and taking personal items home.
- Organize and purge your classroom and personal items. The end of the year is the perfect opportunity to spend time sorting through classroom and personal items. Focus on keeping only the items and materials you'll need for next year and create a give-away table for other teachers who might find something of value.
- Store all student books and materials. Confirm your school’s procedure for storing student materials and books. You should also verify that every text checked out to students was returned and that all student-issued materials are accounted for. Some teachers cover classroom bookshelves with old sheets so that less dusting is needed in the fall.
- Organize and purge files (paper and electronic). The last things you want to see after a refreshing summer vacation are piles of unfiled papers or a clogged email inbox. Taking some time to clean these out before summer break begins will be well worth the effort!
- Create a "Beginning of the Year" box. As you clean up your classroom consider keeping a tub or box for the materials you'll need at the beginning of the year such as your classroom handbook, name tags, desk tags, welcome postcards, bulletin board materials, or contact lists. This way, regardless of the state of your classroom when you return, you'll be ready to start on the essential beginning of school work when you return.
- Follow school guidelines for summer electronics maintenance. Each school and every district have different protocols for maintaining and storing electronics during the summer months. Double check with the technology department or school administration for the proper way to store computers, tablets, handhelds, wireless units, and presentation systems.
- Cover bulletin boards or take them down to make way for new ideas. One great way to prevent dust accumulation and fading of your bulletin boards is to cover them with sheets of newspaper. This will also keep the materials safe during classroom cleaning. If you are planning on changing the items on bulletin boards or the wall, taking them down before the end of the year allows you to start with a clean slate for the fall.
- Pack away all items that need to be removed for cleaning. The custodial crew will be working hard all summer long to ensure the school is ready to go for the fall term. You can help by carefully packing up all loose items on your desk, shelves, windowsills, or tables. Eliminating the clutter will help custodians do a more thorough job.
- Make an inventory of items in your classroom. Before you leave for summer vacation take a quick inventory of the number of packed boxes, stored items, and materials left in your classroom. Take a copy of this inventory with you to make sure that everything you need is returned to your classroom for the beginning of the school year.
- Create a summer "Career To-Do" list. Along with rest and rejuvenation, summer vacation is also a great time to check some things off your personal and professional “to do” list. This is your chance to review that new math text you’ll be using next year. Or sign up for a couple of webinars over the summer on a hot topic you’ve been interested in.
Of course, we believe that enrolling in the Marygrove Master in the Art of Teaching program is an excellent use of your time this summer! At your leisure, review our website and speak to one of our helpful enrollment specialists for more information. It just may be the boost your teaching career could use! Classes begin September 4.