For those of us in the south, when May 1st rolls around, most teachers can tell you exactly how many days of school are left. (Some can do it prior to May…I’m not good at quick math!) As of this post, I have 3 full days of school left, followed by graduation, and 2 work days. Where has the time gone??
Before you can start thinking about your newfound daily freedom and all of the trips you want to take this summer, it’s imperative that you stay focused for your last month with students. The way you end your year is going to influence the way the next school year begins. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to immediately plan the first few weeks of school and all of your concert repertoire for the semester, but it does require a plan, or at least a vision.
First, reflect on your year. What was awesome? What was less-than-awesome? What ideas do you have for next year? What needs improvement? Once you have an idea of what you want your next year to look like, then spend the last month of school with some of these activities in mind.
- Celebrate. Your kids have worked hard this year, and so have you. If you don’t have an annual event like a banquet or other organized event, start one next year. This year, come up with something small-scale that you and your students can enjoy. Maybe a gathering at a student’s house, or a community/recreation location. Let there be food, games, and even invite their parents! Your program deserves a celebration each year, and it’s a great way to continue building community among your students, parents, and school.
- Elect Officers/Leaders. If not all, then some! I like having my section leaders lined up for the next year so that over the summer I can contact them with retreat information, get their input on activities, etc. It’s comforting on the first day of school to know you already have student leaders ready to handle tasks that arise. Those students will be extra eager to help, too!
- Gather any contact information you need. We have our upper level choir retreats before school starts, so it’s important to have everyone’s email address and make sure they are subscribed to my Remind text messages.
- Make a preliminary calendar draft for the first semester that students can take home on the last day of school. I like to do this simply to avoid the “I didn’t know about the retreat/performance/concert” conversations at the beginning of the year. Parents appreciate it too!
Once you’ve got your leaders and calendars in place, then all that’s left to do is choose repertoire for your ensembles, and you can do that from your bed, the beach, etc. 🙂
Have an excellent end to you school year, folks!
How are you getting ready to end the school year? What other business do you take of prior to leaving for summer? Leave a comment below, or continue the conversation on Twitter @LindsayBrazell.