4 Tips for Wrapping Up the School Year
The school year is coming to an end, and we are all ready for the well-deserved summer break. Between fantasizing about all the fun things were are going to do over Summer and cramming every last bit of knowledge into our students, it is easy to lose focus on our year-end goals. That is our reality as teachers, and that is okay! Here are 4 Tips for Wrapping Up the School Year!
1. Reevaluate Due Dates
The end of the school year is approaching, and there is still so much to do! At this point, we need to reevaluate our plans and make sure we are setting our students up for success (and setting ourselves up for less stress).
You know, those giant year-end projects or those essays you have been prepping the students for months —don't make the due date the last week of school. Stop making due dates for massive projects on the last day of school or even the last week of school. Give yourself enough time to grade these during the school year so you can also start your summer on time. Another option is to have due dates for each part of the essay, or large project spread out over a few days. (example: Monday- Introduction is due, Wednesday- Conclusion, Friday- first body paragraph with citations, etc.) Spreading these due dates out will allow us to slow down and not have to sprint to the end. By either changing the due dates to earlier, or spreading the due dates over several points, we give ourselves time to focus on what is essential and provide the students with meaningful feedback. For even more writing support—check out all of our Writing products (there are even some FREEBIES)
2. Celebrate success
While middle schoolers and high schoolers do not really care for the End of the Year Awards Ceremonies compared to elementary students, they still deserve to have their success acknowledged! One of my favorite activities is to have students do a "redo" of an assignment from the beginning of the year. I typically focus on the writing from the beginning of the year because it is drastically different. I give them an identical writing prompt from quarter one and have them answer the question with a paragraph. Some will notice it is a familiar prompt, but it does not matter. After they complete their writing piece, show them the comparison of their work from the beginning of the year, celebrating how much they have grown. You could even have the students create mini portfolios to be displayed or set them out on a table for everyone to see. You will notice every single student did learn something this year, which is not only exciting for the students but an important reminder for you!
3. Celebrate Success Part Two
Students deserve their success celebrated but so do staff members! This is a great time to celebrate your achievements throughout the past year. Use the end of the year to reflect on what glows and grows. We encourage our students to be excited about their successes; now, it is our time to practice what we preach and celebrate our own growth and success. You have so much to be proud of from this past year!
Also, if you have noticed how fantastic another staff member has been doing awesome, tell them. For real, tell them. (We know admin don't always acknowledge how hard staff members work, but you can!) Make them a fun little end-of-the-year award for them—even something very simple (like a note on a Post-it) will go far; Don colleagues with the "Greatest Relationship Builder," "Creative and Cool Award," or "Everyone's Lovable Grandma Award!" Not only will this will make you feel excited again, but it will surely brighten someone else's day!
4. Do Something Fun
The end of the year is a great time to do something you enjoy with the students. Do a lesson that sparks your joy. Your eagerness and excitement are exactly what your students would love (and deserve) to have at the end of the year. Want students to take the last few days more seriously? Give them something to be excited about! Students may not show it as much as us, but they also feel the school year's exhaustion. They feel the stress from all the finals and last-minute cram sessions. So show them something that excites you; it changes the whole atmosphere in the classroom. This (yes, Romeo & Juliet) is my favorite thing to teach! What better way to end the year than bloodshed and a classic love story.
The last few weeks of school are incredibly challenging, but the end is near! You can do it!
What are your favorite end of the Year activities? Share in the comments.