The end of the school year can be tough, it can be chaotic, and it can be wonderful. Most likely, it will be a bit of all three. I was given some great advice on surviving the end of year chaos when I started in the classroom, and I’ve also reached out to some of my teacher friends to share their thoughts in this blogpost. I’ve collated all of the pearls of wisdom into what I like to call my Five Tips for End of the School Year Success.
In New Zealand, the end of the school year for primary and intermediate schools is mid-December, so for me, counting down to the end of the year is always exciting because: CHRISTMAS! (You could say I am a wee bit of a fan of the ol’ festive season). But that excitement can begin to wane when it is met with the craziness that can be Term Four. Let me just list a few of the things that are often part of term four “fun”…
- End of the Year assessments
- Report writing
- School Production – I’m just saying, why not do these earlier in the year??
- Athletics Day
- Final assembly and the practice assemblies leading up to it
- Class parties
- Staff parties
So yes, the end of the school year can be crazy, BUT, and it is a big but, it can also be amazing. The end of the year is a chance for your class to reflect and celebrate, to share the wins, and to laugh at the funny memories you have created together. Before I get teary-eyed and all emotional, let me get to this list.
1. Make the countdown to the end of the year fun
Sarah from Curiosity and the Hungry Mind says: Keep things fun. At the end of the day, we are working with children. If we are tired and stressed, imagine how they are feeling?
- A classroom Masterchef competition
- Making movie trailers using iMovie (on iPads or
- Holding a class Secret Santa activity (this could be done with home-made/craft or purchased gifts)
- Running a lip sync competition – while not everyone can sing, everyone can lip sync!
- Organising and running a sports day for a younger class in the school
- Split your class into groups and get them to design a game or activity that they could lead – it could be as simple as getting kids to try to throw mini bean bags through a hoop.
- Rachel from Minds in Bloom has a great list of activities to do at the end of the year.
Please remember, I would sprinkle these fun activities within a normal, structured classroom program. If you ditch your guided reading, daily writing and maths programs completely, expect your class to bring on the crazy. This brings me to my next tip…
2. Don’t “End the Year” Too Soon
Lori from Kinder Lake says: “Stay in your routine as long as possible but keep it fun and light. For example, If it’s your literacy block keep it simple with a story and a craft, keeping it at the same time you’ve used all year.”
3. Practice Self Care
In those last few weeks of the year, stress levels are likely to be elevated. You may even be feeling anxious about future employment and your body is probably running on adrenalin. Its time like this that self-care is so crucial. It can be easy to overlook self-care, I get it. It seems antithetical (fancy word, I know!) to slow down and stop when you feel like you are chasing your tail, but if you don’t look out for number one, then you are going to quickly get wiped out.
My recommendation is to timetable some self-care into your end of year calendar right now! Get our your diary and book a coffee date, a haircut, a movie night – whatever chills you out and makes you feel good. You deserve it. End of discussion.
4. Celebrate and Reflect
5. Be Prepared
One major way to ease the end of the year stress is to be prepared. We have a range of end of the year activities that are fun and help you celebrate a fantastic year. Click on the links below to find out more.
Celebrate a fantastic school year and help your students to remember it forever with this engaging and meaningful end-of-year collaborative activity. Students create a collaborative jigsaw puzzle that serves as a visual reminder of a great year, while also reinforcing the ideas of teamwork and classroom unity. Display the amazing puzzle and wow your school! Click here to see more.
Celebrate a fantastic school year and help your students to remember it forever with this engaging and meaningful End of the Year Puzzle poster! The completed puzzle is sure to become a treasured memento for years to come. Engage your students’ artistic flair with the wide range of activities provided in this resource. Display the amazing puzzles and wow your school! Click here to see more.
Celebrate a fantastic school year and help your students to remember it forever with this engaging and meaningful End of the Year Comic Book! Designed in an engaging comic book style, your students will love both highlighting their achievements, and looking to the future. Click here to see more.
All the best for your end of the year season. May it be as stress-free as possible. If you have more tips, share them in the comments section below.
Onwards and upwards,