If you’re teaching in the UK you will have the final term of the school year looming, and you are probably looking ahead to relaxing for the summer holidays. The end of term is exhausting for both your pupils and yourself and when the kids finally leave for their summer, you’ll no doubt be feeling like the last thing you want to do is pack up your classroom. Below we’ve listed out our top tips to help you get organised so that the end of your school year isn’t stressful for you or your pupils. It will also mean that when you return for the autumn term you’re ahead of the game, walking back into a clean, organised classroom.
Wait till the very end
As much as you want to, you must really try to wait until the very last day of term before taking work down off the walls. Your pupils have worked hard on the work they’ve produced and want to feel like it’s valued. Sending the message out that their input has been acknowledged throughout the year should always be your priority. There are other jobs you can do in the final few weeks of term which are less obviously about wrapping up the year. Tidy your library by author, alphabetically, straighten out shelves and have your pupils clear out their lockers and drawers. Whatever you’re doing to begin packing away, ensure it has a minimal impact on the school day to maintain concentration levels right until the last day.
Halt the hoard
It’s inevitable as a teacher that you’ll keep reams of ‘useful’ items you once had a brilliant idea of using, but never actually got around to. From toilet paper tubes to empty tubs – be ruthless at throwing out and recycling all the things you’ve stored that you’ve never used. Chances are if you haven’t used them this school year, you won’t use them next year either.
Walking back into your classroom on the first day back of the autumn term can be a daunting prospect, so ease the hectic-ness of the day by getting organised now. Pull together your ‘first day back kit’ complete with: staples, scissors, paper clips and pens and paper. List down anything you quickly ran out of during the school year, so that on day one you can stock up for the year ahead. Also spend 15 minutes writing out your highlights from the school year that’s ending so that when you return from your 6 week break you have an instant reminder of all the things you have to look forward to in the year ahead.
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