Are you tired yet? I get it. May arrives and we are excited that the end of the year is approaching but overwhelmed with all of the tasks that the end of the year brings. I mean, end of the year awards, field trips, field days, testing, report cards, grades, the list goes on….and on.
So how do you avoid the May teachers slump?
1. Make a Schedule
Guys and Gals, you have to have a calendar for May. You may be the Type A that uses a calendar all year long or more like me…you have good intentions but never get it filled out. You HAVE to have a calendar for May. So take time to fill out ALL of your events for May. Then…enjoy crossing them off! (That is my favorite part!)
Give yourself at least 10 minutes BEFORE you leave your classroom for the day to gather your thoughts about the next day. It may take more time to actually prepare for the next day, but giving yourself 10 minutes to mentally think about what will be happening the next day will do wonders for your sanity.
3. Have Extra Work Prepared
Something I have noticed over the years is I always seem to have random time left over after an event. Then I am scrounging (I hate to admit that) for things to keep the students busy. Really, this doesn’t benefit you or them. Have a few things copied and separated for the students to complete. I am listing a few FREE items below that may help you prepare for this occurrence. Click the images to download.
4. Prepare Curriculum a Week in Advance.
Now, we are not talking about extra time. We are talking about the things the students will be learning throughout the month of May. I love to do a specific read-aloud at the end of the year to give the students something to think about the last month of school and as they go home for the summer. It is also great to read at the beginning of the year, I just usually choose the end of the year.
We read The Bad Seed book and do this book study. The students really enjoy this book and they love doing the book study. If you do not own this book, you should grab a copy. It is amazing.
We also do a month of reading comprehension. These passages are leveled and have thought-provoking questions. They also come with digital copies if you are fortunate enough to have Chromebooks or iPads. I love having the students read in partners or independently to complete these. They have such great thoughts and we love sharing out after they are done!
Also, the kids love this End of the Year Flipbook! It is great for reflecting on their year.
Most importantly, I have all of my things copied a week in advance. Those copy machines are SKETCHY at the end of the year and the paper budget runs out quickly. Just be prepared for everything so you don’t end up empty-handed.
5. Awards and EOY Gifts Shouldn’t Break the Bank
I’ve said it once and I’ve said it a million times. Please do not spend a fortune on end of the year gifts for your sweet students (we know you love them) and awards with a billion candy bars are a bit over the top (been there, done that.) Make your life easy and remember you are a teacher…we are usually broke this time of year. 🙂
Below are FREE awards…and FREE EOY Gifts for your students.
Seriously, I run these off every year on colored cardstock and the parents and students LOVE them. So unbelievably easy and FREE. Neon cardstock makes everything pretty.
I use these for End of the Year gifts to my students. I typically use the Editable Poems (second picture) but the first ones are great too! I print them off and laminate them. The kids LOVE them. I even had some 5th graders in tears one year. Kids don’t expect a big gift from you, that just want closure; a proper way to say good-bye. It took me forever to learn that. Instagram and Pinterest will make you feel like a horrible person for not getting them all personalized backpacks or water bottles…but I taught 75 kids one year. Can you imagine?
And on the last day of school…we do this activity! The kids love it and it is a great way to “put a bow” on the end of the year. The spinner spells FAREWELL. The students take turns coming up and spinning the spinner (digitally on the smartboard or whiteboard projector.) Then, they reflect on their year using the corresponding letters and questions. It comes with task card for them to complete their reflections.
I hope May treats you well and you find some of this advice useful. More than anything, just give yourself some grace. Think through each day before it happens and try to make each moment count. You have such an important job and you are doing amazing!
Oh, and Starbucks helps. Starbucks always helps. 🙂 Have a great rest of the year!
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