How to effectively draw your school year to a close
When the school bell rings on the final day, the temptation is to run for the hills on the heels of the kids as quickly as possible without a backward glance.
You’ve had an incredibly long year (each year seems to feel longer).
You’re incredibly tired (you wonder how you managed to reach the end).
And now it is the summer holidays and you want to reap the rewards that you have quite rightly earned.
It is your time, now.
However, one of the biggest issues with the summer holidays is that they are over in a blink of an eye! It’ll be September before you know it. And that isn’t a welcome thought.
However, there are steps you can take now to ensure you reflectively close on this school year, thus enabling yourself to have a successful return in September.
1) Remember your goodbyes
Every time I visit my family, the goodbyes are long and full of love. My brother regularly says, “toodle-pip, toodle-pop and toodle-oo!” It helps us all to remember that we love and are loved.
And the same should be said for school.
There will be pupils you will say goodbye to, colleagues who are moving on. Perhaps you are the one moving on this year.
Then there is the fact that people you see day in and day out will be absent from your lives over the summer.
There is an aspect on mourning that occurs at the end of the school year although, it may not seem that way.
So, take time to say goodbye to those that are important to you. If there is a colleague who you feel especially close to, promise to arrange a meet-up during the summer. Thank those that have helped you throughout the year and acknowledge the positive impact that you and your colleagues have had on the community of your school.
2) Reflect on the year that has been
Within a couple of days of the end of school, find a quiet moment to reflect on your school year:
- What have been the highlights?
- What have been the lowlights?
- What influence did you have over these moments?
- What would you like to carry forward into the new school year? How might you do this?
When we train to become teachers, we are encouraged to be reflective practitioners but the busyness of our days can often get in the way. So, take this time, whilst it’s still fresh in your mind. to briefly reflect so that you can begin to picture how you would like next year to go instead.
3) Leave yourself a roadmap for September
The likelihood is that you have a few things that you’d like to achieve before September. Perhaps you ran out of time this side of the summer holiday or you ran out of steam. Both are ok. It’s normal to have things left over.
Before you completely switch off for the summer though, make sure you have left yourself clear instructions for your return to school.
Leave a clear list of what you have done, what you are part way through and what is still to be done.
By doing this, you are reducing any feelings of overwhelm or stress later on in the summer holiday.
It is incredibly tempting at the end of the school year to sack off everything to do with school and close the door on school for the summer. However, by taking these small steps now, you can experience a sense of achievement as you look back on your year and reduce the chance of stress in the future.
If you would like to learn more about how you can switch off from school well, develop skills during the summer that will benefit your experience of teaching and help you to start back in September well, check out my Start September Smiling Toolkit. Signup closes Wednesday 20th July at 10pm BST. Here’s the link to sign up: www.subscribepage.com/startseptsmilingtoolkit
Gemma Drinkall is an educational wellbeing coach, helping women in education to create clear boundaries so that they can love teaching again. Find out more here: https://linktr.ee/GemmaDrinkall