4 Things Every Teacher Should Do to End the School Year Strong!May 31, 2022
So, the end of the school year is coming fast and so many of us are READY! More ready than ever before because, inexplicably, this has been the hardest year for basically all of us.
Every year, though, there are a few things that I do without fail because they just help me end the school year right.
So, here are the 4 things every teacher should do to end the school year strong!
1. Teach gratitude
This works double-duty for me as the ELA teacher because I can teach them some writing skills too, but I take a day where my classes learn how to write thank you notes, and then they each must write 1 sincere thank you note to an adult who works in the building. It could be a teacher, para-professional, office staff, custodian, whatever!
Not only do I teach them the importance of showing their appreciation, but the staff at my school are always saying thank you to me for doing this because it makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I realize that it may not directly apply to all content areas, but this is an SEL skill that I think everyone needs to have and can continue to improve upon!
2. In-Class Only Assignments
That last week of school for us is only 3 days long, so I make sure that the work we are doing in class is actual work, but I also avoid homework since I know that no one is going to be doing it anyway.
I also take it a step further and don't put anything from that week in the grade book. If they do it, awesome! They learned something cool. If not; that's fine. It won't affect their grade negatively. I don't want anyone having any surprises once the year is over because of something from the last week of school.
It's totally okay to not grade everything and to not have anything "substantial" that last week of school, but it also doesn't have to be a time with no learning either.
3. Make the Students Help Clean
Okay, so I am not actually forcing any students to do cleaning tasks, but they weirdly enjoy helping me get my classroom Summer ready. And this year is even more important because we are moving school buildings, so you better believe my students are helping me pack up my classroom!
I actually create task cards for students and when they finish the in-class work for the day, they get a task card and complete the task.
Examples of tasks I have students do:
- Take all of the posters and papers off of the bulletin boards and put them on my desk. All Push pins go in their bin, and all staples go in the trash.
- Take a Clorox wipe and get the front whiteboard as white as possible.
- Go through the books on the bookshelves and find any that are ripped or need repair.
Obviously, it can be a big list, and it all depends on your classroom and your students but when you break it into smaller tasks and put it on the task cards, students can manage it and it really helps me get it all done!
4. Take a picture with your classes!
I like to take a group selfie, not only because it is adorable but also because it is fun to look back and be nostalgic.
Also, another teacher on Tik Tok pointed out that if they ever get famous, you'll have proof that you were their teacher!
If you are looking for a great way to teach gratitude and do the thank-you note things like I do, check out my Thankfulness & Gratitude Email Etiquette Lessons!
Not only does it teach students how to write a thank you email, but it also teaches them some super important email etiquette as well!