Ultimate Guide to the End of the Calendar Year for Elementary Teachers

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So the end of the calendar is here, it was a little chaotic, and you are ready for a BREAK… How do you end strong before checking out? 

We get stuck wondering things like, “What should I prepare for the new year?” or “How long should I work until I check out?” and even “How can I get space to really rest?”

When you’re unsure what to do, it’s hard to move forward. 

The good news is, you can easily bring order to the chaos by evaluating the last semester and planning your first week back ahead of time.

In this post, I’ll show you how to end the calendar year strong as an elementary teacher and provide 3 steps to get clear, be present, then come back strong. I hope that this will give you a roadmap so you can get started with getting out of the classroom and coming back with confidence and peace.

What is the perfect approach for ending the calendar year strong as an Elementary teacher?

Ending the calendar year strongly calls for clarity in two areas for you. First, you need to get clear on where your class is and where you are going for the second half of the year. Second, you need to allow yourself to rest. 

In other words:

You need to get clear in your classroom again, then get busy living your life. 

The added benefit is that you have plenty of time to do both.

Step 1: Get Clear on Where Your Class Stands

Take 15 minutes (yes, set a timer if needed) to reflect on your benchmarks and goals for your class then log where you believe your class is after the first half of the year. Write down what they are doing well, where you are succeeding, where they need more support, and what you need to confidently move through the second half of the year. 

This is a crucial component because clarity is vital for action steps and confidence to implement them.

Many teachers who are new to running a heart-centered classroom start out on the right track but then get stuck because they don’t know where to start when it comes to organizing their goals and creating structure for their students AND themselves. 

And then they wind up wasting a lot of time without the results they want. 

The key to ending the year strong as an elementary teacher is to do your reflection and research first. Your classroom flows from you, so your clarity is key.

To get started here, take time to reflect and reconnect with where you are taking your classroom.

Step 2: Make an Action Plan for the Second Half of the Year

After your 15 minutes of reflecting and recording what you need to be successful in the second half of the year, it is time to make a plan. Set a timer for 5 minutes, then do these two steps: 

  1. First, look at the calendar through the rest of the year. Make notes of milestones and what you need to do by WHEN to stay on track. 
  2. Second, make a list of your top 3 Most Important Actions to take in the first week back to school to set you up for success to thrive through the end of the year. 

If you’ve spent hours prepping and planning but something still feels off – like you’re not feeling confident or clear, and rest seems impossible, this is likely the piece that’s missing. 

Without defining the 3 Most Important Actions as your next steps, you can put in the hours daily and still not get your classroom to feel on track.​​ 

What can you do?

A really useful technique for getting in touch with the 3 Most Important Actions is creating a habit of reflecting and defining what works the best.

By giving yourself 20 minutes of reflecting and jotting down next steps, you are going to be able to check out fully before you head into the holidays. This is key for coming back refreshed!

Step 3: Go Live Your Life

Yes, once you have reflected on where your class stands, refreshed yourself on your goals, and have made a list of your 3 Most Important Actions, you have one very important step to take… Checking out of the classroom fully. 

Here’s where you’ll really start to bring the magic back into the second half of your year.


Of course, this will take some work - we have to fight for our rest sometimes. But burnout is a leading cause of amazing elementary teachers like you quitting, so you have to get CLEAR and get OUT to start resting. Consider if any boundaries need to be set, communicate proactively, and get busy living.  


The approach you can use to proactively communicate as you exit work is:

  • Setting your OOO auto-replier on your email. 
  • Then proactively check in with families  and admin the day before you log out to let them know you are going offline and see if they need anything from you. 
  • Then, in order to fully log out, delete any apps / log out of anything you may want to log into over break. 

Once you’re done,  you’ll be well on your way to being present, resting and coming back as the healthiest version of yourself for your classroom. 

Putting it All Together for Your Perfect End of the Calendar Year 

There you have it! The 3 components of your perfect end of year. 

It may sound like a lot, but like most things practice makes perfect. Just focus on reflecting, making a plan, and taking time for yourself. This will help you feel more clear and confident as you continue to grow as a teacher, and most importantly, yourself. 

What’s next? Download my Free Guide to Walking into the New Year Writing Activity

If you need help getting started, my Walking Into the New Year Writing Activity will help you kick off the new year with a bang, plus direction without having to come up with something yourself,  so you have the mental space to reflect, plan, and get into the holiday spirit. 

Click here to download the Walking into the New Year Writing Activity now


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