At this time of the year, the kids are like kernels of popcorn sizzling in the pan, dangerously ready to pop. Old behaviors they overcame in October re-emerge. They’re hot, sticky, and just finished their standardized testing. They want out. And their teacher is the symbolic roadblock to freedom.
Bette Davis once quipped, “Getting old ain’t for sissies.” The same can be said for teachers in May and June. Amiright?
So today is about getting you the support you need. Therefore, share this post with your best friend, spouse, or closest family member. Just click on any of the social media buttons at the bottom of this post.
Sent it yet?
Good. I’m going to address your favorite person now. Go and grab yourself a lemonade and I’ll see you next week. You’re off the hook.
The End of School Year Letter
Congratulations! You were picked as a teacher’s favorite person! You must be a pretty cool cat.
On behalf of this educator, I want to share with you some important nuggets of information about end of school year tendencies you should expect for your bestie and, most important, how you can help her in this challenging time.
(For the sake of easy reading, I’m going with feminine pronouns.)
End of School Year Exhaustion
Your person will be wiped. In fact, she won’t really seem like herself until about two weeks after school ends, when her body and brain have had a chance to recoup.
End of School Year Behaviors
The simple answer is that students become increasingly needy at the end of the school year. They revert back to all their old bad habits that were seemingly overcome throughout the school year. If a child used to have issues with temper, those issues will flare up again. If a child was prone to tears at the beginning of the year, the waterworks will flow at every problem, no matter how small.
Kids gleefully push each other’s buttons at this time of year, and arguments and hurt feelings result. All day. And guess who will be solving those problems? Your magical and very tired person.
No matter how wonderful your person’s little charges are, they will become like burrs, sticking to their teacher and energy-sucking them dry.
They will repeat her name all day, every day. It’s possible your person will want to legally change her name, just to have a respite from hearing it.
End of School Year Meetings, Special Activities, and Progress Reports
Everything is due. Your sleepy educator will be doing all the following in addition to teaching children eight hours a day:
- endless next-year-classroom placement meetings
- hiring committees
- IEP meetings and the included paperwork.
- meetings with the principal to review employee goals/performance (depending on the principal, these can be stressful)
- writing, revising, and editing progress report comments
- All paperwork for English Language Learners
- parent teacher conferences
- ordering supplies for next year for each subject
- Field Day. She will fall on the couch as soon as she comes home from this.
- End of year concerts
- Drills (bus emergency drills, evacuation drills, fire drills, lockdown drills) — these are emotionally draining, as your person has to plan for the unimaginable.
- celebrations inviting parents in
- collecting representative work samples for every kid for next year’s teachers
- prepping for special activities on last day of school
Shutting Down of the Classroom
The end of school year shutting-down-of-the-classroom is physically exhausting. For primary grade teachers particularly, pretty much everything in their room needs to be packed up into boxes and labeled, and the classroom needs to be spotless for the summer deep-cleaning.
Have you ever moved? It’s like that. But in an oven. And there’s just one of you to move all the heavy, awkward pieces of furniture. Also, there are squirrels racing around you.
Getting the little birds to fledge the nest takes an emotional toll. Your teacher has spent almost ten months with these children and they have become a close-knit family. In truth, it’s a family structure that will never exist again, as the kids will be separated not only from their teacher next year but also from each other once they are in their new classrooms.
And while this is just part of the job, it’s still very hard to say goodbye.
Ways you can help your friend
- Have a cocktail (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) waiting for her when she gets home. Or take her out for drinks and nachos. Nachos are a cure-all.
- If you happen to be a significant other, take over some of her typical duties. If she normally mows the lawn, do it for her. If she typically cooks dinner, take this over or order takeout. If you are a friend, text her and say, “I’m going to pick up some take-out for you tonight. What would you like?”
- Let her sleep in on weekends. If she has children, take them out for donuts on Saturday morning so she can catch some z’s in a quiet home. Also, bring her a donut back. No. Two donuts.
- Take away as many decision-making moments as possible, as she will have major decision fatigue. (The typical teacher makes 1,500 decisions per day. Don’t believe me? Look at this graphic.)
- Unless she specifically asks you to, PLAN NOTHING FOR FRIDAY NIGHTS. She will be in bed by seven. Just don’t.
- Book a massage for her. She will not only be tired, but sore from the physical labor of shutting down her room.
- Massage her sore feet at night, depending on the closeness of your friendship. 🙂
- Make her or buy her an extra-strong coffee. Show up at her work with her favorite caffeinated beverage. You will rise to godlike status.
- Offer to help her pack up her room. Bring cold drinks and snacks.
Be her rock star.
Once she’s properly herself after that two-week recovery after school ends, she will be so grateful to you. (In the midst of it, she may just grunt her thanks. Don’t take it personally.)
Being a teacher is a rollercoaster of a ride. It’s fun, it’s exhausting, it’s rewarding. And it’s no job for wimps. Feel proud that this person picked YOU as their rock.
Now it’s time to hear from you, love!
If you are a teacher, tell us:
- What would you love to have someone do for you as an end of school year treat?
- What has your special somebody done for you as an end of school year treat?
If you are a favorite person of a teacher, tell us:
- What do you plan to do for your end of school year teacher-pal?
- What have you done in the past to make things easier for your teacher person?
As always, if you found this information valuable, please share it on your favorite social media platform! Till next week!
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