I did survive the End of School 2016. It was one of the most exhausting ends of school since 2015. Ha ha! LOL!
Seriously though, I've been decompressing for the past week, and I have to say that my eye has stopped twitching, my stress related headaches have gone away, and I'm starting to get more than 6 hours of sleep per night. In the past week I've read 4 books, gone to the movies twice (Angry Birds with my boys, and Me Before You with my sis & mom), celebrated 2 family birthdays, and my house is back to being clean (at least for the moment - I do have 3 sons). Every school year I try to find that mythical thing called BALANCE, and every May I realize that I don't know what that word really means.
But it's now June.
This year I only brought home 2 file boxes worth of stuff from my classroom. That's it. Everything else is prepped and waiting for me when I head back in August. Out of those 2 boxes - one is paperwork, the other is filled with markers, highlighters, and glue sticks that I don't want to dry out over the summer. That other box is stuff that my boys don't need anymore and I'll be bringing it to school... I'm terrified that I've forgotten something in the classroom, but honestly I can't think of what I need now. I just finished my 16th year of teaching, and this has never happened before. I don't know how in the world it happened that I have an entire summer to relax but my friend & teammate said it's because we started earlier this time around.
For that I want to thank our testing coordinator for scheduling our CCSS test the last week of February. After testing was complete (the first week of March), my brain automatically started thinking of prepping for next year, even though it was 2 months earlier than normal.
Here's what helped me:
I made lists. Lots and lots of lists.
I started early, even if that meant hiding finished projects under tables.
I took pictures of what I'd completed and of my prepped copies.
I tried to plan mostly independent and engaging activities for the last 2 weeks of school. Two top winners were our Candy Science Experiment Day, and the week we used the Hot Wheels Speedometry kit for our lessons. Both of these turned out to be free activities - The Hot Wheels kit came from their website, where it's free for 4th grade teachers and I asked my classroom families to help by donating the needed candy. By only having to supervise students, I was able to wrap up a lot of random tasks during the school day. As students finished activities, they also became my helpers (which they begged to do) and helped to tackle some jobs that they were capable of completing.
Are you out of school yet? Did you survive? Are you still decompressing?
It'll take some time to feel human once again. Have a great night!