Another school year is almost in the books and you're ready to shift your attention away from testing, grading, and partying and towards packing up your classroom and starting your summer vacation.
Experienced teachers will tell you that spending a little extra time and effort on packing up your classroom the right way will make your life much easier in the long run. And it's easier than you think!
So, if you're willing to resist the temptation to randomly throw your stuff into boxes, the following tips will help you pack up the right way, without exhausting yourself. And, as a bonus, you'll ensure yourself a stress-free start when school picks up again in a few months.
1.) Take Pictures First
Save yourself the time of planning and arranging your ideal classroom setup next year by taking a few pictures of what your classroom looks like now. You'll be able to reference these photos when setting up your classroom again in the fall.
2.) Start Early
Waiting until the last second to pack up your classroom almost guarantees a stressful and disorganized experience. By starting the process three or four weeks prior to the last day of school, you can break the task down into smaller and more manageable pieces.
3.) Organization is Key
While organizing all of your supplies and paperwork will be the most time-consuming task of packing up, the payoff will be huge when you return to school in the fall. It's much easier to get your things in order now when your mind is used to being in the classroom every day.
4.) Get Students Involved!
Don't take on the burden of packing up your classroom alone. Your kids will be glad to help you and many of them will willingly stay after school or come in during lunch to help you pack, organize, and clean.
Looking for fun ways to get your kids WRITING about math and science?
5.) Label Everything
You may know exactly what's in those storage bins right now, but you'll have no idea come the fall. By clearly labeling everything you pack, you can easily prioritize when unpacking again at the start of next school year. If you don't have a label maker, a strip of painter's tape and a sharpie work great!
6.) Use Packing Tubes for Posters
Classroom posters, banners, and signs seem to always get crumpled and bent during the packing process. You can keep yours in excellent condition and reuse them year after year by keeping them safe in cardboard packing tubes. You can get them at any office supply store for around $5.
7.) Throw Stuff Away
The end of the school year is a perfect time to assess which materials and resources are no longer useful. It's ok to throw away items that you never use, especially old textbooks and workbooks that are a pain to pack and unpack. If an item is not adding value to you and your students, get rid of it!
Do you have any additional advice for teachers packing up their classrooms? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
By Anthony Persico
Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.