5 tips to end the school year successfully!

Hello friends!

The end is near! The end of the school year is here! I am on my day number 176 of my 180 days with students. This is the time when our stress levels are running high and everything seems to be due like, yesterday!

Throughout the years I've developed a system of 5 things I do to have an end of our 180 school days as smooth as possible and stress free (or at least reduce the stress).

Plan ahead and delegate. This has been my sanity saver throughout my teaching years. I set aside one day during Spring Break to think and decide what I will do for the end of year celebration with my students.  Once I have my plan, I enlist my classroom volunteers, and those parents who help form home in tasks that would lighten my work load.

Consistency, consistency, consistency! Did I say consistency? Yes! I work really hard in providing a consistent learning environment for my students. Yes, we have specials and special activities we do, but we maintain our routines and expectations daily. This has minimized behavior issues and maintain a sense of predictability in our day.

Be prepared! Have your lesson plan and always be prepared, even on the last day of school. I tend to prepare easy activities the children can do independently. This will give me opportunities to spend one-on-one time with my students and interact with them individually. By being prepared it also helps minimize behavior issues in the classroom. During my last days of school I enjoy playing large group games we have learned throughout the year, as well re-do of activities they really enjoyed.

Reflection time. Although I constantly reflect on my teaching strategies and approaches, specially after assessments, this is a special time to reflect on the entire year. I'm not talking about analyzing data, but reflect on ourselves and teachers. This reflection time helps me plan for the following year and implement new activities and strategies. This is the time we realized how confident we are in our teaching abilities and how far we have become. 

Celebrate! Celebrate the milestones that your students have reached and all their accomplishments during the school year, as well celebrate all you have learned and grew as a teacher. I think that is very important to celebrate the end of the first year of my students, especially because is their first year in school, period. Not graduation, but acknowledging this huge milestone, along with their parents. Out of my 24 students, 19 are either only child or the oldest child - that means this is also their parents first year in school (as parents!).

Keep learning and celebrate, maybe with an Art Show Celebration ;)!

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