The Ultimate End of Year Checklist for Teachers
As the end of the school year approaches, use this comprehensive end of year checklist to best prepare for summer break (and the next school year)!
As the last day of school looms near, there's nothing worse than having a handful of things hanging over your head during the summer that you know you need to do before the start of the next school year. That makes now a great time to finish strong and get a head start on next year!
This post provides comprehensive end of the year checklists for teachers of any subject or grade level, as well as a checklist designed specifically for new teachers wrapping up their first year of teaching!
How does an end-of-year checklist best prepare a teacher for the next school year?
#1: Helps You Prioritize
By creating a comprehensive checklist of important things to do at the end of the school year, you can prioritize your tasks and ensure that the most important things are completed first. This means that you'll be able to maximize your time and get everything done that needs to be done.
#2: Helps You Start the Following School Year with a Clear Mind and a Plan in Place
By using a comprehensive end-of-year checklist, you're better able to focus on what's important: your students!
#3: You enter the upcoming school year with increased confidence!
The items outlined below will help ensure that you tie up all loose ends before the end of the school year!
Top 10 Important Items to Include in Your End of Year Checklist for ALL Teachers:
Clean and Organize Your Classroom: This is a good idea for all classroom teachers, regardless of grade level or subject. Take down bulletin boards, pack away personal items, and put away any loose items in filing cabinets!
Reflect on the Past Year: This often overlooked item is so important! Take time to reflect on your successes over the past school year and potential areas for where'd you like to improve. This will give you insight into what worked well and what didn't, and it will also help you plan for the following year. Trust me, come next Fall, you'll have wished you'd done this!
Tidy Up Your Grade Book and Reports: This is an important task for all teachers. Take a few extra moments to make sure your grade book and reports are complete and accurate.
Prepare for Next Year's Classroom Displays: Use this time to prepare any classroom displays you plan to have for the following year. This might includes bulletin boards, posters, and anything else you'd like to use to decorate your classroom.
Set Up an Email List: Another often overlooked end of year checklist item is this! Setting up an email list is an excellent way to keep in touch with your fellow teachers and staff members. Not only is it an easy way to stay connected, it's an awesome way to build your professional network! You never know you may need a reference!
Use Great Resources to Plan for Next Year: Take advantage of the summer months to search for and collect great resources to use in the following year. This will help you get a head start on planning and ensure you have enough time to gather everything you need.
Attend Professional Development: Summer is the perfect time to attend professional development opportunities, especially if your school or district incentivize PD over the summer or offer you the choice to take PD over the summer as opposed to fall! The LAST thing you'll want to be doing when you're in the thick of it during the fall semester is trying to attend and/or fulfill your respective PD requirements. Not to mention, PD is a great opportunity to give you an edge in your teaching.
Make a Comprehensive Checklist: Create YOUR own comprehensive checklist to make sure you cover all the important items on YOUR to-do list. Not only will this help you stay organized , it'll also help ensure that you don't forget anything!
Get a Head Start on Lesson Plans: Take some time to get a head start on your lesson plans for the upcoming school year. This will help you stay on top of things and give you enough time to make any necessary changes.
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Organize Your Classroom Library: Take some time to organize your classroom library. This will help you start the following year with a clean and organized library, making it easier to find the books you need.
Take an inventory of supplies: Take an inventory of your classroom supplies, such as expo markers, paper, and pencils. Make a list of what you need to restock and purchase those items over the summer or at the beginning of the next school year (when they go sale)!
End-of-Year Checklist for First-Year Teachers:
For first-year teachers, the end of the school year can be especially overwhelming. Here are some important things to include in your end-of-year checklist:
Take Care of Yourself: First and foremost, ensure you take the time for you to meet YOUR need. Time to rest, relax, splurge on yourself a little bit. After all, if you're not meeting your own needs, you very likely aren't meeting the needs of others, including your students. Teaching can be a demanding profession, so it's important to take care of yourself. Use the summer vacation to recharge and prepare for the next school year.
Seek Feedback: Ask colleagues, mentors, or supervisors for feedback on your performance throughout the year. Trust me, it's ok to be vulnerable, and chances are, those that you reach out to will not only provide you with constructive feedback, but have a new found respect for you. This simple task will help you improve and grow as a teacher (and a person)!
Wrap Up Loose Ends: Finish any outstanding tasks such as grading, submitting final grades, and returning any borrowed materials.
Reflect on Classroom Management: Reflect on your classroom management strategies over the past year. Identify what worked well and what needs improvement. Think about the beginning of the school year and how things went for you and compare and contrast that to how things are going for you now. Then use this information to adjust your strategies for an even more seamless school year next year by using more of what worked well and less of what didn't.
Seek Out GREAT Resources: Identify great resources that you found helpful during the year, such as lesson plans, activities, and assessments. Save them in an easily accessible location, such as a folder on your computer or on a flash drive, so that you can use them again next year and save yourself a bunch of time and money (not to mention less stress too)!
Reflect on Your First Year: Take some time to reflect on your first year of teaching. This is pretyy similar to reflecting on classroom management above, only this time, reflect on the past school year as a whole. The subjects you taught, the resources you used, your interactions with peers, administrators, and parents, the growth of your students, etc., etc. Take time to give yourself some credit for all of the hard work and long hour you put in and how you've helped to positively mold and shape the young minds of your students!
By following these end-of-year checklists, veteran and first-year teachers alike will be much better suited to tie up any loose ends and get an AWESOME head start on the upcoming school year!
Remember, the end of the school year is the perfect time to prepare for the following year and ensure that you're in the right place to start the fall semester off on the right foot!
As the end of this post approaches, it's important to remember that creating a comprehensive checklist is a great way to ensure that you're fully prepared for the end of the school year and have a head start on the next!
Whether you're a seasoned classroom teacher or a first-year teacher, taking the time to organize your classroom, review your curriculum, and tie up any loose ends can make all the difference. So, as you wrap up the school year and head into summer vacation, don't forget to take some time to reflect on your hard work and prepare for the new school year ahead!
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-Jillian (a.k.a. the "Lesson Plan Guru")
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