End-of-Year Activities, Self Care, Well-Being

9 Teacher Hacks for the End of the School Year

As teachers, the end of the school year season can really fill our buckets with sweet goodbyes and reminiscing on wonderful memories! Yet, it can be just as overwhelming as carrying an overflowing bucket! Need some help? Then, sit back, take a deep breath, and enjoy our 9 Teacher Hacks for the End of the School Year.

9 Teacher Hacks for the End of the School Year

With all of the end-of-year activities sloshing around and spilling out such as school programs, graduations, parties, and awards ceremonies, it can be a mess! And guess what?

You still have to teach or at least entertain those students in your care until you reach the end! With a collective of over 40 years of experience in the classroom, we have some hacks to help you survive this busy time of the year! Once it’s all over, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief as that teacher bag becomes a pool bag!

#1 Teacher Hack: Efficient To-Do List

An organized to-do list is one of the tricks that help me so much. Having a to-do list managed by categories to help you visually see what must be done right away, what can wait, and what can wait even longer, can help you tackle your tasks efficiently and less overwhelmingly. Try this FREE to-do list to help you take the bull by the horns in finishing the school year well!

9 Teacher Hacks for the End of the School Year

#2 Teacher Hack: Make Dinner Time Easier

Just like when I adjusted from not teaching all summer to suddenly working again in August, I relied heavily on the crockpot at home. It takes ten minutes in the morning to throw something into a slow cooker or crockpot and then when you come home, your dinner is all done. It is such a relieving feeling to walk into your home with your dinner wafting in the air knowing that you don’t have to spend another hour on your feet cooking. Sure, fast food is an easy solution, but we all know you eat healthier at home and can save money in the process and that’s a win/win!

Teacher Hacks for the End of the School Year

Click here for The Magical Slow Cooker Recipes

Some easy dinner meals I’ve personally used include Pork Tenderloin with Carrots & Potatoes, Chicken with Salsa for Easy Tacos, and a Mississippi Roast.

Here are some more crockpot meals!

If you don’t have a crockpot, we LOVE this one! 

Grab yours today!

#3 Teacher Hack: Many Hands Make for Light Work 

We hope this mixture of 9 Teacher Hacks for the End of the School Year will help make your transition to summer a bit easier.

Every school I’ve ever worked at required me to “close out” my classroom. It may have looked different each time, but the overall idea was the same such as taking things off the walls, clearing off my desk, covering bookshelves, and wiping everything down. Every year, I ask my students to help and they absolutely relish it. Students love to be helpful and to feel like they’re contributing. Getting them to help you organize, clean, and take things off the walls gets them out of their seats which they love too.

Don’t feel guilty for asking for some help from your students. If you have a classroom reward system, perhaps you can give them some of your classroom bucks or reward them even more for their help. I’ve given students candy before to thank them for helping out or just rewarded them with a fun snack or extra recess. Many hands make for light work and it’s so true.

#4 Teacher Hack: Bulletin Board Prep

If you’re not switching classrooms, ask your administration if you could leave up or prepare your bulletin boards for next year. For several years, I would leave up the background paper and border of my bulletin boards, or I would take down my old bulletin boards and put up the background and border of a new one I would finish up in August. I would then cover them with a sheet or tablecloth and when I came back in the classroom, I had less work to do. 

Here is our favorite bulletin board background. Better than Paper can definitely withstand multiple school years.

Grab yours today for a better tomorrow!

Our Kindness bulletin board is wonderful for the beginning of the year and you can grab it now to help make your August easier. It comes with a beautiful border you can put up now. 

Grab yours today!

Grab our digital border that you can put up now as well. 

Grab yours today!

#4 Teacher Hack: End-of-Year Student & Teacher Gifts

Make giving out end-of-year student gifts as easy on you as possible. First of all, you don’t have to give a gift to your students if you don’t want to! If you do want to give something simple and easy, try to be kind to yourself and choose something that students will love but doesn’t require too much on your part. 

Grab our Ring Pop freebie today.

Grab a bulk pack of 30 Ring Pops!

Another gift I’ve given out is Little Debbie snack cakes. (Check for allergies first.) Bubble wands, pop-it toys, Mad-Libs booklets, or crazy straws are all simple gifts I’ve purchased from the dollar store for students.

If you want something a bit more personal, try our End-of-Year Certificates. Personalize your students with over 80 diverse looks to choose from and add some sweet adjectives. This is a printable gift that is so simple!

Grab yours today!

Next, if you’re a parent and you need to purchase teacher gifts, just give a gift card. You know, as a teacher, that a gift card is so appreciated, whether it’s for coffee, for lunch, or to your favorite store. Have your child write a sweet message or letter and that teacher will be just as happy if you went ahead and packed a beach bag full of goodies. 

#5 Teacher Hack: End-of-Year Activities

From playing review games to incorporating writing and art, students appreciate fun and light assignments in the last couple of weeks of school. Check out one of our other blog posts all about 10 Quick End-of-Year ideas

Click here to explore more.

If playing a movie or two is on your radar, check out our latest blog on 7 Picture Book & Movie Combinations to combine some language arts and purpose into your movie showing!

Click here to explore more.

#7 Teacher Hack: Extra Recess & Board Games 

As a new mom, I had a wise friend say to me, “If your baby is fussy, put him in water or take him outside.” It has rung true for me as a mom and even as a teacher. You can’t give your students a water day every day, but you sure can take them outside! Giving students fresh air, extra play and socialization time will do wonders for them and for you!

9 Teacher Hacks for the End of the School Year

If it’s a rainy day or even for just plain fun, plan a board game afternoon. In an age where technology is at our students’ fingertips constantly, board games are often sidelined. Board games and card games are educational. From reviewing money in Monopoly to developing inference skills in Clue, game-based education is a valid form of learning. I have planned a couple of board game afternoons for students, and they just loved it. I would play some music in the background. Also, have students bring their own snacks. They would play all afternoon while I finished up my end-of-year checklist. 

#8 Teacher Hack: Reading Afternoon

For some downtime and a way to promote reading, host an afternoon filled with fun reading. Make it even more fun by giving it a theme. Some students love to read and others…not so much. However, if you make it fun and provide a variety of books to choose from, your kiddos will enjoy themselves. Plus, they will love this a lot more than doing a worksheet. 

For instance, turn off the lights, have students bring flashlights, put up some glow-in-the-dark stars. Maybe pop up a tent or two for a camping reading afternoon. Students can bring in a sleeping bag or stuffed animal and you can make microwave S’mores. 

You can even read our book, More and More Microwaveable S’mores. Then, complete the writing activity to get in the camping mindset. 

Grab yours today!

Click over for yours today!

Grab a tan blanket (for the sand), some beach chairs, buckets of seashells, and some laundry hampers as ships. All things combined will make a fun ocean/beach reading afternoon. 

#9 Teacher Hack: Take Care of Yourself

The best hack of all is to make sure you’re taking care of yourself during the hustle and bustle. Go to bed earlier if you can, drink water, pack (or Doordash) a delicious and healthy lunch. Main thing, try not to survive on caffeine and the chocolate in your desk. (Believe me…I’ve tried that!)

9 Teacher Hacks for the End of the School Year

When you go home, leave school at school. Focus during your planning hour to avoid bringing schoolwork home. Try to do tasks that will help your future self out. For example, cleaning out your desk drawers or reorganizing important papers. Self-care can come in many forms. If you need to veg out on pizza and Hallmark when you get home, don’t feel guilty at all! Our brains and bodies need rest, so we can be there for our students.


We hope this mixture of 9 Teacher Hacks for the End of the School Year will help make your transition to summer a bit easier. Instead of carrying an overflowing bucket of endless responsibilities, you’ll be carrying a cold cup full of your favorite summer drink in no time!