Spring is in the air!
All the world looks fresh and new. All the world, that is, except for every classroom in March. By this time in the school year, my classroom was overrun with piles of half-used supplies, papers to grade, graded papers to put in portfolios, centers, etc……. I felt like a crazy person trying to keep up with all of those piles, but the craziest part was that they were probably just going to get bigger. Spring may be the beginning of many things, but it also brings the ending of the school year.
Why Spring Instead of Summer?
I know a lot of people like to save their cleaning for the end of the school year, and that’s understandable. Most teachers I knew had cleaning and reporting days built into the last week of school. And honestly, most of us had no time to think about Spring cleaning before then. But while Spring may be busy, EOY is just as busy.
The end of the school year brings about all the things. There are so many tests, parties, conferences, assemblies, YOU NAME IT. You’re so busy DOING all the things, you almost don’t even have time to ENJOY all the things! So why add cleaning out your classroom to your end-of-the-year to-do list?
What Should I Clean?
Not only does cleaning out your classroom in the Spring free up your time in May and June, it also helps you better prepare for your end-of-the-year events. I can’t tell you how many times I nearly lost my mind because I couldn’t find student work saved for EOY portfolios, only to find them crammed in a “safe spot” after school let out. If I had only taken a few days to clean out my classroom in the Spring, I wouldn’t have had these issues!
If you’d like to carve out some time to clean out your room before the end-of-the-year chaos begins, here are three areas that were most beneficial to me!
Papers – Go through all those piles of papers piling up throughout your room! Chances are you’ll find some of your students’ “missing work”, papers that need to get sent home, or papers that will be very beneficial in your EOY parent conferences.
Centers – I loved getting all my centers reorganized and put back together during this time of the year. It didn’t matter if they were doing Christmas stations in April, my kiddos LOVED reviewing stations they were familiar with during their free time. It gave them an extra boost of confidence and helped me see which kiddos were still lacking.
School Supplies – By this time of the year, I had tons and tons of broken crayons, glue sticks missing their lids, scrap paper, etc. floating around my room. Instead of throwing it all out at the end of the year, I tried to gather it up to put out as community supplies. Or, if I could, I’d sneak the newest-looking supplies into the supply bags of students I knew couldn’t afford to bring new ones. (Frankly, if these supplies had been sitting unused in community bins, I didn’t see anything wrong with handing them over to someone who needed them.)
If you have trouble enjoying your end-of-the-year activities because you have so much going on, I hope these tips will help clear your schedule a little! Do you have any other tips for cleaning out your classroom? I’d love to hear them!