The end of the year (EOY) can be filled with many emotions: joy as you celebrate the successes of another year, sadness as you say goodbye to one more group of students, maybe even exhaustion as you slowly check off your “to-do” list. These are just a few things that come to my mind as I reflect on this time of the year. How is your time being spent the last few days of this school year? If you’ll humor me a moment, I’d like to share a couple of ideas that may bring a little more pep to your EOY step.
Take a moment to think of the final days in the classroom, when everyone is ready for that last bell to release all to summer break. You’ve got EOY classroom parties to plan, promotion and graduation programs to prepare for, grades to finalize, and of course classrooms to clean, pack, and organize. But are you soaking up each last moment with this group of students, enjoying the time after the pressure of testing has subsided? Now I was often told, “Wow you’re brave,” but my favorite EOY activity with my students was tie dying shirts prior to field day. You might not think that sounds too brave until you hear it was with kindergarten students! Sure it was messy, but we had a blast and it made for an easier time keeping track of all the little ones on field day. A colleague here suggests building geodomes. This was always an end of year favorite in her classroom. If you love pictures, why not create a slideshow to showcase your year… Add music to it and your students will surely enjoy a movie in which they are the leading ladies and gentlemen. Whatever you can do to finish out the year with fond memories with your students will surely be a lasting impression on them for years to come. How will they remember the final days of the year?
I also hope, even with the busyness of your schedule, you’ll be able to take a few quiet moments to reflect on the past nine months you’ve dedicated to your students, school, and district. You have spent countless hours devoted to your profession… to make a difference. The EOY lends itself well to reflection. So think about the times that made you smile or chuckle. Cherish the “aha” moments when concepts finally clicked for students. Revisit the challenges and struggles, knowing that with each year’s end, there’s the chance to change and grow and start anew after a break. Celebrate your victories no matter how small and of course… take time for fun!
Happy EOY! You’ve earned it.