Students aren’t the only ones in countdown mode—but once we’ve finally said our goodbyes, submitted grades and packed up the last of our personal belongings, we’re usually left with mixed emotions. Sure, we’ve been pining for a break, but there’s also a faint, lingering feeling of “Now what?” To help teachers decompress and find their footing after a long and successful year of teaching, we’re offering a list of 10 things every teacher should do at the end of the school year.
10 Things Every Teacher Should Do at the End of the School Year
1. Thinking about getting a head start on the fall curriculum? Not so fast. Take off your teacher cap for at least two weeks. Walking away often brings clarity, enthusiasm and a renewed sense of passion once you return.
2. The next time you’re at the store, don’t drop a penny on anything for your classroom—don’t even look! Go about your business and stop thinking about your students!
3. Once you have some physical and emotional distance from the school year, take time to reflect on it. Ask yourself,
- How have I changed since August?
- What did I learn about myself? What did my students learn about me?
- What did I do well? (you owe it to yourself to spend a lot of time on this. Don’t get bogged down by your shortcomings)
- What will I do different in the fall?
4. Set up a blog and tell your students (both past and future) about it. They’ll enjoy reading about your summer and seeing that you have a life outside of the classroom. If you’re looking for a free blogging platform, we recently started using Weebly: Not only is it free, but it’s one of the most user-friendly blogging platforms we’ve used yet.
5. Redefine professional development by taking a class that interests you. Maybe you teach math, but have a secret passion for ceramics. We see no conflict between art and science: Artists, like mathematicians, are problem solvers; they know how to improvise with raw materials, and look at their environment and their world in new and innovative ways. Both must be able to communicate, collaborate, think critically and approach their palate from perspectives other than their own. Go ahead and take that ceramics class and find a way to bring your new skillset into the classroom.
6. Take “guilty” out of guilty-pleasure reading. We know you’ve got a stack of books you should read this summer, but let them gather dust a while longer. Don’t let anyone judge you for reading Dean Koontz or gossip magazines. You earned it.
7. Join a community group with people that share your interests. If you don’t know where to start, stop by Meetup where you’ll find the world's largest network of local groups. There’s a group for just about any interest you could possibly conceive of.
8. Get coffee with a colleague you’d like to get to know better—or one you don’t get along with very well.
9. When you finally get your hands on the class list for the fall, give each student a call and introduce yourself—and don’t forget to tell them about your new blog!
10. Learn at least five new pieces of technology that you can bring into the classroom in the fall. We can help you get started with two of our free guides: Surfing for Substance I and Surfing for Substance II.