THIS YEAR, I WILL SET MYSELF UP FOR SUCCESS FOR THE NEXT SCHOOL YEAR.
1. Keep some student work for August bulletin boards.
I learned this tip while student teaching but there have been many “doh!” years where I forgot to keep something that can decorate the bulletin boards. My mentor teacher suggested that I have my students write letters to the future students. They are cute, not to mention easy! I created the following FREEBIE letter writing paper for you to use in your own classroom. The download includes letter templates for grades K-5. Click here to get in on the goodness! (P.S. it is a google doc so no registration needed. Yay!)
2. REFLECT on what worked and what did not.
Now when things are about to get really crazy, this is when we need good records to keep us straight for next year. Keeping records might be as simple as a scribble fest on a yellow pad. Set a goal to write down your steps for planning stuff like:
- Last day of school
- Cleaning schedule
- Special events
- End of the year party
- Final teaching units
You will be a happy camper to not have to redo these plans in busy May 2017!
3. Clean out the junk you don’t use.
Do you have a whole shelf in your tiny classroom closet dedicated to broken geoboards? Not needed. If you didn’t touch it this year, it might be time to find a new home for some of this stuff. What about that box of old fabric scraps? Oy vey. GONE. Little hands love helping on projects like this. I promise it will feel good!
4. Be ready to start student portfolios on the first day of school.
Student growth portfolios are a huge part of our classroom and school. The students each create a book with work samples and reflections on their growth. Even though this is supposed to be a year-round project, the bulk of the work happens in our last trimester. I always push the reflections and organizing of the book until the month before the end of the year. BUT, there is a better way to do this! When everything is fresh in your mind right now, throw something together that is a good outline of what you WISHED you had done. Maybe copy some student work as samples to show your future class. I KNOW how hard it is to add something more to a busy plate. But I promise that if you do an hour’s worth of work on this now, you will save SO MUCH TIME for yourself next year. You will forget so many things you came up with. You thought up so many great ideas in the past few weeks. Don’t forget those ideas. Write them down! Everything is fresh in your mind now but it won’t stay that way.
There you have it! Even with only four tasks, this is a lofty goal. But if followed, hopefully your return to school is a little smoother. What do you think? Are some of these goals attainable for you this year?