10 Simple Tips for Teachers at the End of the Year

As a teacher, your to-do list at the end of the year can seem daunting and overwhelming.

There is so much to be done before you can clock out and head off to summer vacation!

One question I’m constantly asking myself is “How can I get this done is the most timely, efficient way possible?”

Over the years, I’ve found that organization is the key to being efficient and staying sane.

Having a to-do list ensures that you make the best use of your time.

Have you ever thought your task was done only to realize you forgot something? Well, you certainly don’t want something like that to delay your summer vacation. Even if it’s just for an extra 15 minutes.

In this post, you’ll find:

  • 10 simple tips to help you end the school year
  • An opportunity to download my printable, 10-page guide with more details and tips

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Every year, I try to find ways to work more efficiently to save time and avoid stress.

I created an end-of-the-year to-do list to help me do just that. I start working through my list once we hit May. However, there are some things on the list that I start to do in April!

1. Start putting things away

This may be a bit obvious, but it still worth saying. As soon as you’re done using certain things, you should start putting them in storage. This includes textbooks, small group materials, independent work stations.

You may feel that you need to wait until your students are gone before you start putting stuff away. For fear of having a bare classroom for your kids.

But don’t fret! It’s perfectly fine to start storing things you and your students are no longer using.

It actually adds a sense of excitement for your students as things slowly start “disappear” from your room. You can turn it into a game and see if they can figure out what’s missing.

2. Cleaning

Start cleaning different areas of your room as soon as you are able.

Have your students help you with various cleaning tasks. They love being helpful!

Pro tip: baby wipes, Magic Erasers, and halved dish sponges are great cleaning tools!

Here are some things your students can help clean:

  • Desks
  • Books
  • Baskets
  • Bookshelves
  • Cubbies
  • Stations

3. Students’ supplies

In May, you can start to send your students’ school supplies home little by little.

I like to send everything home BEFORE the last day of school.

Then they can easily take home any goodie bags their classmates might pass out on the last day of school.

It also reduces the number of things that get left behind on the last day.

Don’t forget to take down and send home art projects that are hanging around the room.


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“10 Simple End of the Year Tips for Teachers!”

4. Grading

The end of the year is flooded with assessments.

Be sure to grade assessments as soon as your students complete them.

This keeps the work from piling up. And it helps you complete your report cards with minimal stress. Everyone can use a little less stress in their lives.

5. Report cards

Keep comments short and sweet. Look at last year’s comments for ideas. There’s no point in recreating the wheel if you already have something that works.

Since you’ll be grading as you go, you can also input grades as soon as they’re ready.

This will help you to finish your report cards faster. Then, you can print them early so you have time to look over them. You can avoid the last minute rush of teachers also trying to print theirs.

Need to place signed copies in cumulative folders?

Print 1 set of report cards to review and sign. Then, make a copy to place in your students’ cumulative folders.

Work smarter, not harder

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6. Inventory

Make a list of materials or furniture that were moved out of your room. That way you have a record and can track them down before the end of the year.

It also reminds you to return things that you borrowed from someone else.

Now is a good time to slowly start taking home personal items.

You can also make note of supplies you’re running low of that you’ll need for next year.

7. Teacher forms

There are often several end-of-the-year forms your school office will need you to complete.

Fill them out and return any forms you get from the office right away!

Because you’ll be cleaning out your room, it’s highly probable that such form might (accidentally) wind up in the trash. Save yourself the headache and take care of it straight away.

You should also set up a designated safe spot for important papers regarding the next school year.

Your school/state might also have you fill out information in your students’ Cumulative Folders.

If you start to do a little every day, it’ll be less overwhelming and much more manageable.


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8. Unused worksheets

I usually have a stack of worksheets like Scholastic News that I just didn’t get to over the course of the year. As you wrap up the last few lessons in your core curriculum, now is a good time to bust those out.

You can have your students complete one a day until the stack is done. My kids love learning things from Scholastic News articles. So after a long day of testing, those articles are a welcome sight.

Store away any worksheets you know you could use next year.

9. Copy things for next year

This is the point in the year when I start to copy and organize all of the following year’s tests.

As soon as my pacing guides for next year are completed, I start to copy the tests we’ll use. The key is to label and properly store the tests so they’re ready to go for next year. Check out my blog post about organizing a whole year’s worth of tests for more information on how I do just that.

It’s also a great time to copy beginning-of-the-year worksheets and forms.

Be sure to properly label and store these valuable copies right away!

DO NOT just stack them in a basket. A little extra work now will save you a headache later.

10. Throw Things Away!

This last tip may be the most difficult but it’s also the most important.

Do you know any teachers who retired with boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff to go through?

I do.

My very first classroom was inherited from a teacher who retired.

It took me three years to sort through and throw away things that were no longer relevant!

Now that I’m wrapping up my 7th year of teaching, there are things that I’ve saved that don’t actually need. So this tip is as much for me as it is for you.

This task may seem overwhelming. But remember that it’s a lot easier to go through your things each year than to try to purge 20 or 30 years of junk.

Old curriculum

Some old resources are worth keeping to supplement your current curriculums. However, you might have old curriculum that are so out of date, you know you won’t use them.

You definitely do not need laminated copies of Scholastic News about President Clinton.

Ask your Curriculum Coordinator if you can discard it or if there’s a system for donating it to other schools.

Pass items along to other teachers

My school usually sets up an area where teachers can leave items for others to take. Any items left after the last teacher workday are either tossed or donated.

You can certainly ask teachers directly if they’d like your old resources.

But ensure them that they can throw out anything that is not helpful for them.

There’s no point in just moving trash from your room to someone else’s.

I created a pdf of these tips with more specific details. You can download your copy by signing up here.

If you’re already subscribed but would like the pdf, just enter your info to get the link. Don’t worry, you won’t be placed on the list twice.

I hope this list will help you to work smarter, not harder as you wrap up the school year!


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sign-up and download your free copy of

“10 Simple End of the Year Tips for Teachers!”

Words to Live By 

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2

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