Sanity For the End of the Year 2015

A co-worker and a student were sitting on a bench outside earlier this week. The co-worker looked over and said, “There are twenty-eight more days left.” They had been counting in the planner to find their answer.

Twenty-eight days.

Renay would frankly just like to plow through the end of the year head long with as few distractions as humanly possible. But there are all sorts of things. Rallys. Dances. City-wide events. Finals. Play Day. DEAR Days. Spirit Weeks. And it can be a bit much at this time of the year. In addition to: Transition meetings, district office conferences, submission of intent to return/rehire letters, and planning for Summer School or Extended School Year Services.

That’s a lot going on. And then if you added in “graduation” onto that list, well, you might as well take ever piece of paper you have, shred it slowly by hand and toss it in the air for confetti because all of these schedules can throw the adults and some students in for a loop.

What can you do?

  • Make it a habit starting now: write the day’s schedule down. It doesn’t matter if it’s the schedule you’ve used all year for today, but write it down for the students to refer to. A lot of anxiety can be truncated if a student knows when breaks may be coming. Seeing the schedule every day can also help students who need more time to process the change in pattern that may happen tomorrow or the next day.
  • Follow the school’s policies with regards to behaviors for students. For students who understand the school rules, there is usually a behavior policy in place for end of the year activities. Review the policies with students and refresh and enforce them on yourself.
  • For students who are not as able to follow the behavior policy, use a reward chart so show how their behavior is earning them the way to the event. We’ve used stars, but stickers, happy faces, stamps, and punch cards are all great ways to reward positive behaviors at this time of year. And frankly: we want all the positive we can get when life is loopy.
  • Allow there to be a safe space for students to relax when activities become too overwhelming. Some schools require classrooms to be packed before the last day of school, keeping some key items available for students helps when fun activities become less fun.
  • Enjoy the fun too. Get in and squish the red unidentifiable substance. Let students launch a water balloon at you. Eat the donuts off the string.

After all, hasn’t the countdown begun? And it’s twenty-six days left…

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