The Secret Formula to a Successful End of School Year as an Elementary Teacher

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The Secret Formula to a Successful End of School Year as an Elementary Teacher

If you just looked at the calendar and realized, “Whoa! We’ve only got a few months left of this school year!” – this post is for you.

I’m sharing my secret formula to a successful end of year for heart-centered elementary school teachers, and you’re going to love how easy this is to implement and follow! 

The good news? We’re not reinventing anything at this point in the year.

The even better news? You still have time to make an even bigger impact and help your students feel 100% prepared for their next classroom and grade level.

Let’s get into it!

What should a heart-centered teacher focus on as we near the end of the school year?

Relationships and connections are front and center year-round for heart-centered teachers.

We want to make sure we’re helping our students feel seen, heard, and appreciated while creating a warm, welcoming classroom environment where they want to be each day.

You’ve likely built a strong positive culture in your classroom already, and now you want to make sure you finish strong – making the most of these last few months you have with your students. 

These steps will help you do exactly that! This formula consists of 4 things to do and 4 things to avoid to give you and your students the best end of school year experience possible. 

Depending on where your students are and what kind of classroom culture you’ve built, you can decide which parts of the formula are most important. But however you implement the following strategies and tools, make sure you give yourself credit for being an intentional, heart-centered teacher who truly wants the best for your students. 

Reflect and Celebrate

Every successful season begins with thoughtful reflection.

Alone and with your students, look back on the months you’ve spent together and think about what has worked, what needs improvement, and identify anything that feels like it’s missing.

After you’ve taken time to reflect, make sure you also make space to celebrate!

Heart-centered teachers celebrate:

  • Milestones
  • Accomplished goals
  • Effort
  • Progress
  • Open-minded attitudes
  • Growth mindset
  • Teamwork and collaboration

Continue building emotional connections

As a heart-centered teacher, you’re focused on creating meaningful connections with your students. But as the year starts to wind down, it can be easy to lose focus on the relationships you’ve worked so hard to build throughout the year.

Make sure your students still feel valued and safe – continuing classroom traditions, practices, and routines that they’ve come to expect and rely on.

You may have to dig a little deeper to find the empathy and understanding your students need as the weather improves, the wiggles increase, and the whining escalates, but you can do it! 

The relationships you’re building now are one of the most important keys to your students’ continued success as they grow. 

Establish a gratitude practice

At this point in the year, you’ve encountered a number of challenges, setbacks, and even failures. It’s not unusual for teachers to find themselves feeling discouraged or negative around this time of year.

Combat these unhelpful perspectives by being intentional with your gratitude.

Try to start every day with a short list of things you’re grateful for and get your students in on the gratitude fun, too. You can brainstorm a classroom list of gratitude, have students complete their own gratitude journals, or participate in weekly activities that build gratitude and keep those positive mindsets going strong. (We use our Heart-Centered Feelings Journal every morning to begin our school day with gratitude practice. Click here to check that out.)

The more you show your students you appreciate their hard work, teamwork, and unique personalities, the more loved and supported they will feel. 

Increasing those feelings of belonging at this point in the school  year can help you avoid unnecessary behavior issues or a lack of desire to focus on the work that’s still left to do.

Prepare for the transition

The end of a school year can be challenging for students. They have spent so much time in your classroom, getting to know their classmates, learning the expectations, and becoming a vital member of the group. And then that all just comes to an end!

The more intentional you can be about closing out the school year and preparing your students for the transition, the easier it will be. 

Start talking about the next grade. Let students ask questions about what to expect and give them space to share anything they may be nervous or uncertain about. 

You may even want to take them to visit the next grade’s class if it’s possible. The more familiar something is, the less scary it will feel.

Normalize transitions and closure by:

  • Reading books about graduating, getting older, or moving to the next grade
  • Talking about your own experience at their age
  • Sharing stories about other times something has ended in your life or your students’ lives
  • Having open conversations

Four things to avoid for a successful end of school year

You have my formula for what to implement, but now let’s talk about what you want to make sure not to do.

Don’t rush the end of the year

If you ignore the end of the year or don’t make space for students to prepare, you’ll leave them feeling blindsided and unprepared for what’s next. You also want to make sure you’re not positioning the end of the year as a “relief,” as that could leave students feeling like you want to get away from them or that they are a burden.

Don’t forget about your own self-care

This time of year can quickly get busy with projects, performances, events or dress up days, and all the other fun things. But don’t forget to make time for the things you need to feel cared for and supported, too. Don’t let your responsibilities leave you feeling depleted! Schedule in downtime, time with friends, and anything else you need.

Don’t dismiss your students feelings

Just because you’re excited for summer break doesn’t always mean your students are. Giving them space to talk about how they’re feeling and validating their emotions – especially when they’re complicated – will help your students feel supported through the end of the year. Closure and transition hits differently for every student, so make sure you don’t assume how your students feel about ending the school year. 

Don’t give your students too much work

Sometimes your reflection may leave you feeling like there are so many things you still need to teach and help your students master! Resist the urge to pile on too much work at the end of the year. You’ll just exhaust your students and you’ll all feel burned out and grouchy. 

Using the formula for a successful end of school year

You’ve got everything you need to set yourself and your students up for a fabulous and productive end of the year.

Remember, how you and your students feel is just as important as what you accomplish

This can be a tricky time of year, but with the right intentions and focus – you can make it a productive, supportive season that benefits everyone.

Want done-for-you end of year activities?

I’ve put together some of my favorite end of year activities to save you time during this chaotic season and help you stay focused on what matters most as you wrap up this school year with your class. Enjoy preparing for the upcoming transition and celebrating all your classroom’s success with these engaging resources.

Click here to shop the End of Year Activities!


What’s next? Join the Heart-Centered Toolkit Waitlist now!

I created my Heart-Centered Toolkits to walk you through exactly how to have a heart-centered classroom because so many teachers (including myself at one point!) need support and direction when creating a safe and supportive heart-centered classroom. 

Click here to join the waitlist so you don’t miss out when doors open!

Lead your class with confidence and joy, showing up as the teacher you were meant to be each and every day. The Heart-Centered Method gives you all the strategies, language, tools, and support you need to create the classroom environment you’ve always dreamed of.

Adopting a heart-centered approach completely transformed my classroom behaviors, and I’m confident it will do the same for you. 

>>>Join the waitlist here!

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