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Wrapping Up the School Year – Teacher Tips

wrapping up school year end of year spanish teacher

"Teacher Tired" at the End of the Year

It’s the last day of school and your remaining students have left the classroom. You’re incredibly tired from the final marathon to the end of the school year (and let’s face it, the entire year as a whole). You scramble to finish inputting those final grades so that you can call this school year one in the books. You close your computer, grab your personal items, turn off the lights and close the door…and take the most satisfying breath of the year. Whew, you did it! Goodbye classroom – ¡Nos vemos en agosto!

Fast forward to August. You feel rested and refreshed after a summer spent sleeping, recuperating and soaking in some Vitamin D (and probably a little professional development or planning, because we know many teachers just don’t stop working come summer!). 

You walk into your classroom and gulp. The overwhelm sets in as you see the last day of school agenda still on the whiteboard, piles of leftover copies still on your desk and a front table covered with a mish-mash of random, forgotten items. After spending an entire day trying to reorganized and declutter the room, you sit down to try to start planning your year but cannot remember what you wanted to keep/ditch from last year’s lessons. Cue the stress…

Setting Future You up for Success

Looking to avoid that scenario described above? Help future you out by taking a few extra steps to close out your school year so that the stress and overwhelm of one year doesn’t tarnish the next. Reset your classroom and clear out your teacher brain to better support yourself come August!

Reset your Classroom

While much of this can feel extra overwhelming during an already busy last week of school, your students can help! Send those fast finishers on errands as needed. Assign them to remove student work off walls. They need something to keep busy and it’ll save you hours of time!

Clear the Clutter

  • Trash/recycling? Dump it.
  • Extra, unused copies? Toss them. 
  • Student lost-and-found items? Bring them to the office lost-and-found bin.
  • Important student assessments you’re required to keep a bit longer? Box them, label it with the school year, and put it away for later reference, if needed.
  • Ripped poster on the wall? Trash it or, if salvageable, repair and re-hang.
  • Whiteboard covered? Clear it off for a fresh start.
  • Student names labeling file folders, phone holders, etc.? Remove so you can replace names in the fall.
  • If required by your maintenance staff, clear countertops and/or floors for deep cleaning.

Student Work

Unless you prefer having prior students’ work on the walls the following year, have student volunteers help you take it down. There’s nothing fun about wasting an hour or so removing posters and irritating staples from a wall in August when you’d rather focus on preparing your lessons for new students.

File It Away

There’s nothing worse than coming back to a pile of papers on your desk in the fall – a few lesson materials from your second to last unit in Spanish 2 mixed with practice assessments for AP mixed with task cards for Spanish 1. If possible, file these important materials away at the end of the year for easy locating come fall.

Clear your Teacher Brain

Create a Brain Dump Idea List

I often create this throughout the school year, but it can just as well be done the last week(s) of school. Start a Google Doc titled “Ideas for 23-24” or whatever school year is coming up next. In this document, jot down any ideas that came to mind this school year of things you’d like to try, tweak or do differently. It’s much easier to do this while lessons and routines are fresh in your mind than after a summer break.

Only Bring Essentials Home

You know when you bring home a pile of papers to be graded and they stare you in the face all weekend, trying to guilt trip you as you opt to spend time with family, rest and enjoy your time off (as you should!)? If you bring home loads of materials with the intention of working all summer, you just might find yourself in a similar scenario. 

Be honest with yourself. Are you really going to dabble in work that much the first month or so of summer? Clear your mind of the mental clutter that a bag of teaching materials will inevitably bring if it sits in the corner of your house for the next 4-6 weeks. Pick 1-2 things you might realistically be able to use and call it done. Or, leave it all and take a true break. You deserve it!

Turn on Email Auto-Reply

To avoid returning to repeat emails from any one student or parent in August, turn on an email auto-reply for summer. Keep it simple: “Dear Students and Parents, Happy Summer! I will not be checking or responding to emails regularly during the break. Please take this time to rest and enjoy your time with friends and family. I will read and respond to emails upon our return in August. ¡Gracias!”

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¡Hola! I’m Kristen, the teacher-author behind La Profe Digital. I design Spanish teaching resources rooted in culture, communication and authentic resources to help save YOU time!

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