I know that packing up at the end of the year in your special education classroom can seem daunting and downright tedious, but it needs to be done. While you are at it, why not take a few steps to make the beginning of the year as easy as pie as well. Here are some tips that should help!
When you begin the packing process, the biggest tip that I can give you is to purge, purge, purge. My rule is if I haven’t touched it or looked at it within the past 2 years, I am tossing it. Which doesn’t always mean I should throw it away. I could sell them on FB marketplace, I can donate items to a colleague, I could give them to goodwill, or I just toss them. I promise this job will make you feel ten times lighter!!!
When you start packing up your classroom start organizing your file folder games, tasks, manipulatives, and anything else you have lying around. I think all items need a place to live and should be labeled. It makes finding things and putting them away that much faster! Start with your filing cabinets, then head over to your task boxes and file folder games. Maybe your adapted books need some organization? Your student files could need a clean-out while you are at it.
3. Prep and make copies
As you are organizing and purging, start making the necessary copies that are needed for the first few weeks of school.
My favorite things to print and copy are:
- Welcome back letters
- All About me booklet
- classroom brochures
- Beginning of the year newsletters
- Back to School flips books
- classroom supply lists
I also go through all of my units and make copies for the first few weeks and prep any materials that I would need as well. Making copies of my reading comprehension passages has been key for my IEP goals.
I do a lot of my laminating and velcro at the end of the year too because my assistants have a lot more downtime those last few weeks, so might as well put their time to good use. My favorite kind of velcro is the velcro dots from Amazon! (affiliate link) I also use these awesome laminating pages from Amazon!
4. Take inventory
Next, I take a quick inventory of all of my classroom supplies. I make a list of things that I will need and then submit them to my district for the beginning of next year. Then I decide on what I want to spend in the classroom out of my own pocket and list out the things that I will need or want for the new year. I also have made a wishlist on Teacherspayteachers classroom funding accounts and Donors choose wish lists to get items that are not obtainable by me.
5. Invest in a Planner
I know that I am old-fashioned but I love me a good ol’ fashioned, paper and pencil planner. I have tried to go digital, but I really like to write things down.
Anyone else out there with me?
One of the things that I have hated with a lot of store-bought planners is that not only do you have to purchase them every single year, but as a special education teacher, I have found that a lot of store-bought planners had too much of what I don’t need and not enough of things that I did need. Which prompted me to create my own printable planner. This is a “buy it once” and then all you need to do is print it every year. It is my favorite planner by far and I love that it is customizable. Having a planner ready to go at the beginning of the year will set you up for success!
You can grab my editable teacher planner here!
So, what did you think of my end-of-the-year packing tips for busy special education teachers? Let me know in the comments if you already do one or all of these tips for end-of-the-year packing? I would love to hear your thoughts.