|Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.5 No.5||May 2008|
|Cover Story by Todd R. Nelson|
|Only a School. Only a Teacher.|
|School is still, at its heart, a dance of men and women of character. A school is its teachers.|
|Harry & Rosemary Wong|
|An Amazing Kindergarten Teacher|
|I use modified modeling to teach my students the correct procedures. Instead of just telling, I act out the wrong way first....|
|»||Promoting Responsibility - Or How Not ToMarvin Marshall|
|»||Differentiated Instruction & Ability GroupingCheryl Sigmon|
|»||The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac|
|»||Counting the days yet?Barbara & Sue Gruber|
|»||Problem-Based Learning, Part 3Hal Portner|
|»||Successful TeachersLeah Davies|
|»||'Subprime' Is Voted "Word Of The Year" For 2007|
|»||May 2008 Writing Prompts|
|»||Use Math's Magic to Intrigue Students Solving Linear Equations|
|»||I Choose Teaching - A Meaningful Career|
|»||Teacher Appreciation Day: Not Nearly Enough|
|»||Treating All Students With Dignity|
|»||Two Teachers, Two Philosophies, One Result|
|»||Favorite Teacher Appreciation Activities|
|»||Academic Writing Guidelines|
|»||What is an Effective Teacher?|
|»||Drexel Online Education Program|
|»||Candles of Inspiration: May 2008|
|»||Featured Lessons: May 2008|
|»||Video Bytes: A Hidden Lesson, Baptism By Fire, Mom and more...|
|»||Today Is... Daily Commemoration for May 2008|
|»||Live on Teachers.Net: May 2008|
|»||The Lighter Side of Teaching|
|»||Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes for Teachers|
|»||Is a school only as good as the teachers in it?|
|»||Teachers' Best Teachers|
|»||What Is It About Teaching That Keeps You Going?|
|»||Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers|
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Counting the days yet?
Do you feel as though your sanity is threatened by end-of-year tasks? Do you need help preparing for the next school year? Read this collection of tips and ideas!
|by Barbara & Sue Gruber
Barbara Gruber Online Courses for K-6 Teachers
Regular contributor to the Gazette
May 1, 2008
I love teaching but there is something down right magical about summer! At the beginning of May, doesn’t it seem like summer is ages away? Relax… there’s all kinds of time to wrap up the school year. By the middle of May it becomes obvious just how much there is to do before the school year ends. By the end of May, it’s possible to be whipped into a frenzy while struggling to keep a suddenly wild class on track and wrap up loose ends. Here are some tips to help you finish your school year with your sanity intact:
Next year folder
Have you noticed that a bunch of important paperwork comes with the end of each school year? It’s tempting to toss the notices about fall meetings, next year’s school calendar, textbook orders, etc. on your desk. Don’t do it—you may never see them again! Start a next year folder today! Label a file folder “Next Year” and keep it handy. Pop all of the papers in your folder so you’ll be able to find them when you need them. Take your next year folder to your last faculty meeting of the school year. You’ll need it!
File cabinet clean up
What does the top of your file cabinet look like? Mine is piled high with file folders that I haven’t taken the time to put back where they belong. Not a smart move if you live in earthquake country where we’ve just been told there is a 99.7% chance of a major earthquake in the next 30 years! I could be crushed under mountains of file folders! Join me and resolve to get everything off the top of your file cabinet and filed before the month of May ends.
Get a jump on prep work for next year
Take a minute to think about the beginning of the next school year. What are the things that you always make or prepare for those first weeks? Use the month of May to get some of this prep work finished. Better yet, see if you can get a couple of parents to help you with it! In your next class newsletter or note home, write a couple of “help wanted” ads. Here are some that go in my May newsletter:
Help Wanted—Journal Maker
Help wanted to make a class set (or two!) of journals. A sample and all of the necessary supplies will be sent home with your child in a bag. Work at your own pace! Return the journals to school when they are finished. Time commitment: approximately 30-40 minutes.
Help Wanted—Book Repair
Help wanted taping/repairing books from our classroom library. Books and wide tape provided. Work at your own pace at home! Time commitment: one hour
There’s something pretty wonderful about getting a jumpstart on the next school year! I don’t know about you, but I need some down time in the summer when I don’t even think about school. Having some of these little jobs completed lets me relax and enjoy my summer even more! When you tell parents exactly what the project is, let them know about the time required and give them all the supplies, you might be surprised at how many volunteers you get!
Do you and the other teachers at your grade level make the class lists for the next school year? When you sit down with your colleagues to make the new lists, there's so much to keep in mind. You need to remember which students shouldn’t be in the same school as one another, let alone the same class and which children work well together. It’s such a huge job that comes at such a busy time of the year. Your goal is to create balanced classes for the next school year. Here are my favorite tips to make the process easier:
Here’s to a wonderful month in your classroom! Take a deep breath, summer is around the corner! If you are looking for practical ideas for your classroom that save time and work, take a look at our online courses for teachers. Teachers tell us we’ve helped them put the fun and joy back into teaching—that’s music to our ears.
Barbara Gruber & Sue Gruber
Barbara Gruber Online Courses for K-6 Teachers
Copyright 2008: Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers
Editor's note: Please share your tips for maintaining teachers' sanity during the end-of-year frenzy.