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May's Teacher Success Tips

Student Transitions, Summer Plans, and Purging the Classroom

(Psst, teachers! This is ONE MONTH in my popular 12-month series! See the whole series here and have an awesome year!)

Hi Teachers, Happy May!

Don’t cheer yet but in a few short weeks, the long, sunny days of summer will be here and this school year will be a thing of the past! Try these simple ideas NOW to finish the year strong and be your best in September.

Purge Your Classroom

This is the permission you’ve been waiting for! Purge those materials you know you won’t use again. Don't wait until school is out; you'll be ready to head out and not return until August. Trust me.

Have you ever heard about the strategy of hanging your clothes in your closet... inside out... so that after one year you can see what is still inside out (what you never wore) and purge it? The same should happen in a classroom!

Let’s be honest, there are some lesson plans and supplies that haven’t been touched in years! Why do you still have them? Is it possible that at some point you’re going to come back around them? As Marie Kondo would ask adorably, “Do they spark joy?” Be honest with yourself – probably not! New curriculum, new instructional strategies, and your increasing skill as a teacher mean that those old lesson plans and materials are just cluttering your ever-evolving world.

Consider spending a few minutes each week in May purging those materials that you haven’t used in years. Scan and digitally save resources you may use in the future. Send out an email to your teammates offering up supplies that are getting in your way.

Don’t fool yourself! You will NOT come in to school this summer and finally organize those drawers or cabinets; even if you tried, custodians may have your room locked down for floor waxing or cleaning. If you haven’t used it in years, there’s a high likelihood you won’t use them in the future. If colleagues don’t want them, St. Vincent de Paul or Goodwill does!