Here are a few teacher survival tips for the end of the school year. It is good to give students something to look forward to in the summer vacation and it is important to give teachers some time to relax and recuperate after the long school year. I have a few suggestions that should make this transition smooth and effective. Start planning now.
– Make sure you have a nice relaxing summer break. If possible, take advantage of the summer break at your school. This should be a very pleasant experience for all students. Many people forget about their school work in the summer. Take advantage of the break then and get a lot of rest so you can be fresh and ready to start teaching the following year.
– Make sure you have a plan for the new year. I believe everyone needs a plan and some guidance throughout the year. I also believe in giving students some freedom to explore and gain new skills. A teacher can only do so much. Plan out your workload and assign some extra help to cover some classes you don’t feel comfortable with or need to cover.
– Get started now. Even if your school has implemented a no nonsense policy and all communication is done through email, you still need to communicate with your students. Call the students and let them know what you have in store for them for the coming semester. Give a brief description of the upcoming courses and assignments and show how eager you are for the changes to come. It will pay off in the end.
– Don’t be afraid to make some changes. Don’t just sit around waiting for students to come to you. Make plans to visit with your students in person. Give information about your next class to students who may need it.
– Have a “teacher’s night” once a week. I encourage my teachers to spend one night a week talking to their students privately. This may be as simple as handouts. But whatever you do, don’t go into the classroom without a student’s permission. You need to respect their time.
– Put together an emergency kit. Your school supplies are probably dwindling at this time of year. Stock up on bottled water, batteries for flashlights, and other items that will be needed. An extra flashlight might be just what you need to keep the kids safe in the dark.
And just a note of caution. I know of many teacher survival tips for the end of the school year that could backfire if a child hears about them from another student or parent. Make sure you discuss any important information with your child ahead of time. They’ll be glad you took the time to let them know of any plans you have.
– Invest in some smoke alarms. These devices are inexpensive and should be easily installed in all classrooms. They’ll prevent the spread of a dangerous fire that can scorch the school and cause damage to the surrounding buildings. Look for battery operated units that you can place near the exits. They’re especially important during holidays and other times when the electricity may go out.
– Teach kids to lock their doors. Even if the threat is minimal, it’s better to err on the side of safety. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep a lockbox in every classroom. That way, a teacher or administration person can grab a key from a key chain and lock the door. The same goes for a snack machine – buy one that leaves a remote control.
– Teach children how to share. It’s amazing how much the younger children depend on their older siblings. When tragedy strikes, older siblings are usually the first to reach out and offer help. This helps children recognize and develop relationships with others.
Following these teacher survival tips for the end of the school year can keep your job and life safe. You should also take the time to help your co-workers through the difficult times by volunteering to tutor students who don’t have classes during the summer months. The bottom line: have a plan and have a safe and secure plan.