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School’s (almost) out for summer! However, before you can actually celebrate the summer season of reflection, relaxation, and rejuvenation, you probably have some work to do.
The end of the school year is full of important tasks to be completed in an art room, but it can be difficult to recall everything when you have vacation on the brain. Below is a comprehensive list for the end of the year. Use it to stay organized in the weeks leading up to your last day of school.
Be sure to download a copy so you can check things off as you go!
With beautiful weather and mere days to go until a much-deserved break, it can be tough to find the motivation to clean. However, every moment you spend preparing your room for summer will make you a bit more organized come fall. Moreover, your efforts will not go unnoticed by your custodians, and those are a great group of people to have in your corner!
In the Classroom
Out of the Classroom
When you are finished, take a few extra minutes to create a physical map of your room furniture and tape it to your door. This will ensure furniture moved to deep clean or wax your floors it will be put back in the right place!
Regardless of the level you teach, there are always supplies to be sorted and prepped for summer storage. This list can be daunting, but the workload shouldn’t fall solely on you.
As we teach artistic behaviors, one important component should be the care and maintenance of supplies. Students gain a greater understanding of this process if we let them participate. Allocate 15-20 minutes of focused supply care per class during the last week of school. Or, post a master list of supply care jobs and let students choose tasks with which to assist.
In many states, school regulations require that districts retain plan books and assessment records from year to year. Thus, it is common for teachers to turn in their class records at the end of the year. It is tempting to “dump and run” when it comes to these in the summer. However, if you go the extra step to copy these documents, you can use them as a reference to judge exactly how long a particular lesson took, or where you successfully put a certain student on a seating chart.
Throughout the school year, art teachers use a variety of resources from across their buildings. Whether it is an item from your library or a teacher down the hall, it is best to return these things before they get lost in the shuffle over the summer. Conversely, any items a colleague has borrowed from you should be requested now, or they may not materialize come fall.
Returning artwork is often the greatest end-of-the-year challenge. No matter how organized your storage system is, there are often “stray” artworks that don’t make it home over the summer. Here are a few pointers for reducing/eliminating homeless artwork.
Some districts ask that you turn in a supply order before leaving for summer break. Even if this is not a requirement, it is an excellent practice. As you pack up your room, the state of your current supplies is at the forefront of your mind, making it the easiest time of year to create an order quickly. When you are done, share/show that order with other art teachers in your area. They may have found a better price on a certain item, so collaborating on purchase order information could potentially save you some money!
Many districts have a policy that personal items need to be removed from the school over the summer months for liability reasons. Sometimes art rooms are used as summer school sites or venues for different types of summer enrichment activities. Other times, the summer is when the maintenance or custodial team does deep cleaning or painting. Either way, it is best to remove your personal items to prevent heartache later.
Showing appreciation for the stakeholders who regularly support your art program is an excellent advocacy practice. What better time to do this than the end of the year? As you reflect on the last year of teaching, consider who you need to thank.
The end of the school year can often feel overwhelming, with all that is required of an art teacher. At this point, burnout is a common feeling. As you work on this comprehensive list, don’t forget to pause and reflect on the highlights of your year and be intentional about planning for a summer that excites and rejuvenates you.
With a little effort and this comprehensive checklist, you can end your school year as strongly as it began. Even better, these activities are sure to set you up for success in the fall!
What other tips and tricks would you add to your “end of the year” list?
What are you most looking forward to over YOUR summer break?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors from across the nation and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University or any of its academic offerings.