Have you Started Counting Down and Stressing Out?

It's that time of year when most of us begin the countdown to the last day of school.  We have 19 days left, some of those are half-days, throw in a few field trips, field day and assemblies and BUZZZZ!!! Time's Up   School will be out and summer vacation will have started, for the kids anyway.
  • Are you feeling panicked?  
  • Are you making lists of all you still need to do in such a short amount of time?
  • Do you still need to assess, write report cards, sign-off on student CUM's.
  • AND... is your head spinning with ideas of what to do for next year, how to arrange your room, how to decorate, how to organize?
Please say YES!, YES! YES!  just so I don't feel all alone. Even though it is an absolute gorgeous Sunday here, I went into the classroom.  I just had to move stuff around on shelves, wipe off dirt and grime and PURGE.  I moved into this room two years ago making a grade level change.  Over the past two years I've collected lots of stuff. You know that stuff, the stuff that calls your name from the freebie table in the teachers lounge.  The stuff that retiring co-workers tell you- you MUST have.  The stuff you bought when you first started teaching but have never used.

Today I decided to tackle the bookcase.  Everything was neat and tidy, but it was full of STUFF I hadn't used all year.  I really don't need two tubs of teddy bear counters or linking cubes.  That freed up half a shelf.  As I moved things around I put the items I used all the time on the top shelves.  I used pencil boxes to contain small items like dice, beads, small counters.  They are just the right size for holding so many things and they stack nicely.

Next, I made a list of what needs to be done and by when.  Then I made a list of what I wanted to do.  That included cleaning out my desk and going through the class library.  This list was mostly about getting ready for next year.  Lastly, I made a calendar.  I put in all those things that had to be done, added all the end of year events like retirement parties and so forth.  Then I picked a few things from the other list that were most important for me to have done before school let out.

Now I see the light sunshine at the end of my tunnel.  I know it is virtually impossible to stay 100% on track with my scheduled tasks, but it will help keep me on track so that anxiety doesn't set in.  I will be able to enjoy the last few weeks with my kids and look forward to my summer break.

I also created a summer box.  These are things that can wait to be done during the summer.  the box comes home with me. I usually will pick a day here and there to work on school stuff.  Sometimes I'll get together with a co-worker and we work on stuff together.  It makes it fun and not seem like such a task.

So if you've started your countdown, and have started to panic, don't-  make your lists and calendar and make sure to add time for yourself.  As a bonus- if I accomplish a task early, like report cards, I will treat myself to something- could be as simple as an iced coffee, a pedicure, or a trip through Macy's.

The bottom line is- school will be out,  and somehow we always manage to get it all done, it's how we manage to get ourselves to the finish line that matters. So to help you get there, I'm sharing my calendar and list template I made- come on over to Time 4 Organization to grab yours and get some other ideas for getting your classroom organized too.

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