1. Do what you can ahead of time!You can't put EVERYTHING away or your kiddos will go CRAZY! Believe me I have tried it. Kindergarten students need order even in those last days. Do your behind the scenes packing first. Clean out your desk drawers, organize your closet (or cabinets, or whatever you have for storage!) and get things in order so when you start putting things away you know where you put them.
Do you have a checklist you need to complete before the last day to officially "check out"? We have to fill out an inventory sheet, make a list of repairs that need to be done, and record our technology numbers as part of our check out system. This can all be done before the last day. Save yourself some time on that last day and do it ahead of time.
2. Take PicturesDo you have an area of the room that you LOVE that you have to pack up and you want to remember EXACTLY how you had it? Take a picture!
3. Purge!This one is hard for me. I don't get rid of much! The end of the year is a great time to take stock of what you really will use. Have a box of 65 pine cones? If you didn't use them this year you probably won't next year. Although I had a box of 65 pine cones my mom brought me from Cali and I actually did find a use for them....so scratch that, keep the pinecones! But get rid of all the other stuff you didn't use this year. If you have a friend in another grade level that can use it put it in their trusting hands.
|Our campus PURGE pile. Yes....I took a few things!|
4. DON'T put away important tools!Keep a box that you will need when you start putting things back up. I keep my stapler in there, scissors, tape, and all of my wall hanging accessories. I use A LOT of those 3M plastic hooks so I keep them all in this little box with extra stickies to put them back up.
5. CleanI cleaned up the items that needed it as I packed up my book shelves. Those lovely crate seats? They get SUPER dirty throughout the year. I wiped down all of my wobble stools too so they will be ready to just put out when I unpack. Wipe out all of your bookshelves too. It will save you time when it's time to head back.
6. Get your kiddos involvedWiping out book shelves, organizing book boxes, and recycling papers are great ways to get your students involved in the packing up process. The last week of school I have students check out a book box during our reading time and their job is to enjoy the books, make sure they all belong in the book box, and then return the books that don't belong to the "lost" pile. After a couple of days of this my library is back to first day of school order!
7. Want a clean slate? Take it ALL down!I know this sounds crazy and I may regret this in August but I took EVERYTHING down this year. I even removed my mammoth desk so I could have a clean slate after the custodians get done cleaning. I'm playing with the idea of moving a few things around so now if I need to I can start fresh.
|Even my alphabet is down. I can't wait to start redecorating.....later!|
8. Cover your bookshelvesWhatever is left in your room cover with sheets. We are required to do this so I keep a supply of old sheets in my room to cover stuff up. It's way easier than butcher block paper and better for the environment. Even better? Old fitted sheets work great!
|Now my dusting will pay off! Clean math bins when I get back in August.|
9. Don't take anything home!Seriously....unless you REALLY need it don't take it home. Piles and piles will not help you relax and recharge this summer. Of course there are a lot of things we do NEED but don't overdo it. I'm a horrible example of this. I have this huge bag sitting on my dining room floor that I'm ready to chuck because I can't even remember why I brought this all home!
|And why is there a cookie sheet in there?|
10. Walk. Away.....
Do it. You worked hard all year. As a fellow kindergarten teacher I know this is one of the toughest jobs out there. We need to leave it all behind (if only for a couple of weeks) and rest. Recharge. Reconnect. Do what you need to do to get yourself ready for that next group. We know that August/September will take ever bit of our energy so save it up now! Leave it all behind and enjoy your break. You earned it!