Professional Practice

The Top 10 Ways to Live Up Your Last 10 Days at School


Are you on the precipice of your last few weeks at school? Are you moving to a new school or a new grade level next year? Have you completed a long creative career and retirement is just a few days away? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you might be feeling as nostalgic as I have recently. After six years of teaching elementary, I’m am packing up my room and moving to middle school next year. As exciting as change can be, it can also be sad or even scary. So in order to keep our spirits up, here are ten fun ways to spend your last ten days at school.

10 Ways to Live Up Your Last 10 Days at School

  1. Become a Paparazzi
    You’re going to want to remember your school and perhaps even this school year. Make sure to take some time to capture your last few days in your building. Don’t forget to snap some photos with your co-workers.
    jenny with camera
  2. Pay It Forward
    Wipe away those tears and use this time to do something special for someone in your building. It could be for a student or a co-worker. If you see a need or just want to show your gratitude, make sure to leave one last positive mark.
  3. Utilize Plan Periods Hang Out With Colleagues
    Sure, you have a million things to do between packing up your room and grading, but you’re going to miss your friends. So use a plan period to spend some time with those you might not see much anymore.
  4. Write Goodbye Notes
    If you’re not good at sappy speeches, try putting pen to paper. It’s easier to hold on to a sweet goodbye note than spoken words anyway.
    thank you note
  5. Clean Your Room
    I know I’m not the only art teacher to find a clean room strangely satisfying. You’ll appreciate it when you return in a few months or you’ll make it easier for the incoming teacher to start out on the right foot.
  6. Organize a TGIF Celebration
    There is no better way to get to know teachers than to spend time with them outside of school. We know you need a break, so you might as well plan an out-of-school gathering!
  7. Award Your Co-Workers
    You know those inevitable end of the year staff meetings and award assemblies? Turn the tables and hand out awards to the people you work with. It’s a great way to celebrate others for the amazing things they do.
  8. Pull Some Friendly Pranks
    Nothing says “we’re friends” like a good old-fashioned prank. Perhaps you can yarn-bomb a colleague’s room or send them a little glitter in their goodbye note. The creative possibilities are endless!
  9. Take Selfies
    I know we already said become a paparazzi, but you might also want to take a selfie with each one of your classes. If you’re coming back, you can print them out and hang them in your room the following year. If you are leaving, you’ll always have the memories!
  10. Have Fun and Smile
    Yes, you are exhausted from a long school year and you desperately need a break, but try to keep your smile on and energy up the last few days. I’ve always found that if I stay positive, even the hardest days end up being great ones.

No matter if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic or riddled with “teacher-itis,” make sure that you live up your last few days at school!

In what ways are you living up your last days at school?

Are you retiring, switching schools, or simply headed for summer break? Tell us your story in the comments below!

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jennifer Borel

Jennifer Borel is one of AOEU’s Adjunct Instructors and Academic Advisors and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She runs her own photography business and is passionate about students exploring the medium.

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