It’s started. The memes joking about how frazzled teachers are. Except it’s not a joke and it’s too close for comfort. Honestly, it is going to be rough getting through these last few weeks. However, don’t abandon ship just yet. As tired as you are, chances are you are going to go in to another year with too much to do. We always seem to forget how frantic the beginning of the year is, and as a result things might not be as organized, your work centers might not be as killer as you hoped. Trust me: put a little extra work in now and you’ll be thankful you did.
Clean out and organize for next year
You’re going to have to figure out how to stuff everything in your closets anyway, so you might as well really sift through everything and get rid of what you really don’t need. Be ruthless. Between doing this to my own classroom along with doing this when moving in to my house, trust me, stuff just weighs you down. You’re probably not going to use that calendar worksheet you made your first year teaching that, at the time, you thought was stellar. Those baby toys you’re holding on to meanwhile you teach middle school? Give them away to the kindergarten teacher. After you have just the necessities left, organize it in a way that make sense to you.
Reflect on classroom setup, schedule, etc.
There are some things that are really hard to try to implement mid year, like centers or a work task system. Now is a perfect to put plans in to place and prep so that it’s easier next year. Want to finally make a really awesome work task system? Get to making tasks and brainstorming what bookshelf and containers you can use. Want to actually have a chance to train your paraprofessionals? Start getting materials ready.
Refresh your materials
What materials could make your year better next year? Now is an excellent time to ask yourself and write projects for Donors Choose. The summer will give you a solid 2-3 months to gather donations with less urgency. Even if that just means having a solid supply of lamination and Velcro, hey, no shame in your game. Click here to read one of my first blog postwith some tips of how I try to make the most of my Donor’s Choose projects.
Changing all together
You may even want to have a really serious conversation with yourself as to whether or not you want to stay in the same place altogether. This could mean just changing positions to another grade or even changing school. Really think about what is working for you and what isn’t. You aren’t married to one type of classroom or one school. On the flip slide, ask yourself if you ready to leave or do you still feel like you need more time to improve yourself In your current situation.
Nobody wants to think about next year when this year is not even finished, but doing so can save you a lot of time and effort next year.