5 Year End Ideas for Teachers (to help keep you sane)

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Memorial Day is upon us.  This is traditionally the start of summer in many American minds.  As the end of another school year approaches, it seems that everywhere you look, at least in teacher circles, there is so much talk about ‘survival,’  ‘exhaustion’ and ‘just getting through’ the end of the year. Personally I have one more month of teaching to go, and the thought is daunting. While it’s easy to fall into step with all of our colleagues and feel all the same emotions, I've decided that this year, rather than merely ‘survive’ the end-of-the-year, I'm going to thrive and celebrate it!  I've even decided to find several meaningful (and some frivolous) ways to revel in the completion of another academic year…

Teacher gifts for colleagues are great, but here’s also some other ideas to help make a teacher’s last few weeks go smoothly and help teachers feel good the last few weeks of the school year.

There will be more than enough time over the summer to look at what might not have worked well this past year, but for now, why not be kind to ourselves and honour all the hard work that we, as teachers, have put in all year long?  Here are some ways that I've chosen to celebrate the end of the school year--and I hope that some of you will think of ways to do the same for yourself:


1.  Say “Thank You” to a co-worker, with words or a small token of gratitude. Whether it’s the School Secretary, who always (and often cheerfully) helps when you need it, or the cafeteria lady who goes out of her way to smile at you every day, or the custodian who works harder than anyone should have to--I plan to stop at Starbucks and pick up a small gift card for each one of these folks.  Surely, they deserve some acknowledgement for all they do.

2.  I'm going to ‘Pay it Forward.’  Is there a fellow teacher or administrator at your school whose work you admire? I have at least one at my school.  I plan to leave them a little note in one of my hand made cards.  You could write a short note or send them a brief email telling them so.  My hope is that by doing this now, I will be sowing the seeds of kindness that will come back to me in the fall.

3.  I'm going to type up a short note to be copied and sent home to parents thanking them for the opportunity to teach their child this year. I will also take a quick 10 minutes to jot down just one sentence on each note, about what I will miss about their child.  Personalizing the message for them and their child will mean so much to them and will also round out the year in a very positive way.

4.  A book swap!  I'm going to send out an email to my team asking if they would grab a copy of their favourite professional development/teaching book, so that I could borrow it over the summer. I will also lend them one that I recommend too!  The one I just finished reading, and highly recommend is Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller.  I will also lend this one out to any of them who would like to read it! 

5.  A book sale!  Tying into the afore-mentioned book swap, I will look through my professional development books, many of which are tired dinosaurs that offer me nothing in the way of genuine help in my classroom, and find a few that may sell on Amazon over the summer. 
With the money from that sale, whether it’s $10 or $100, I plan to:

          A.   Enjoy an overpriced milkshake
          B.   Treat myself to a movie with my very OWN popcorn
          C.      Have lunch with friends
          D.    Get a pedicure
          E.      Be a tourist in my own town & visit a cool museum or park

I hope you will consider trying to stay focused on the positive and while doing that, have some fun by making a list of all the ways you can honour yourself, and others, at the end of another school year.

All my best to you for an awesome June and a relaxing & positive July!

Thanks for stopping by today. 

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