You made it through another year! Time to celebrate! Woo! Here are a few tips to get you through these last couple of weeks/days.
1. Reflect on the Year(and don’t procrastinate!)
Right now, you know what you want to do next year. And right now, you are convinced you will remember that when you return back to school. Don’t let current you be a pain for future you because future you is going to forget what current you knows. You probably have about a a million things to do but reflection is so important. Don’t procrastinate. Write down what worked this year, what you want to stay the same, and what you will change. Print out this sheet right now and go ahead and fill it out today. Right now if you have time. The longer you put this task off, the less likely it is to happen.
2. Clean Alllllllll the Instruments
These instruments have served you well this year so make sure to give them a little love before you store them away for the summer. And you don’t have to do it alone – there will always be a handful of students who would love to clean for you. Clorox wipes are your friend – wipe down every last egg shaker and triangle beater. Here are some tips for cleaning mouth pieces and here’s a helpful post for brass instruments. Check out this post for some helpful tips for cleaning Orff instruments.
3. Take Inventory
Google docs is my fave when it comes to taking inventory…mostly because Google docs will not disappear if your computer dies and is not backed up(not speaking from personal experience or anything…). Looking for a digital approach to simplify your life? Check out this post about creating a barcode system for inventory. Students can help you out with inventory too. Just make sure they’re responsible. For high schoolers, you can easily put together a team of students to go through the instrument inventory. Don’t forget to also take inventory of supplies as well. If you have 25 packs of post its because you bought them on sale for the past few years, you probably don’t need to do that again this year. If you have 10 pens that barely work, just throw them away and get yourself a new set of pens this summer.
4. Purge (and then purge some more!)
Do you really need those issues of The Instrumentalist from 2013? Are your hoarding office supplies that you don’t really need? Are you ever going to read any of those books again? If you want to save an article out of a magazine, pull a few pages out and recycle the rest. Even better, create a few folders on Google docs(Orff ideas, brass teaching techniques, classroom management, etc.), snap some pictures, and store your ideas there.
Donate, recycle, and trash what you don’t need! Make piles and leave the donate pile in the teachers’ lounge.
Need some extra help when it comes to cleaning? Try reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It literally changed my approach to cleaning/purging this year.
5. Celebrate and Enjoy the Last Few Days
The last few days of school can be crazy, hectic, and leave you feeling a bit off kilter. However, don’t forget to enjoy these last few moments with your students. Do something silly in your lessons, give out superlatives, get outside if you can! You can either dread the last few days or make the best of them. If you want some print and go certificates, check out these ones:
If you can laminate now, do it. The laminator is typically a ghost town at this point in the school year and there’s always a line at the laminator at the beginning of they year. The future you will thank you!