You may have seen my end of the year counselor list for staying organized. All of this is important and is usually how I spend my workdays after students have ended the year. Today, I want to talk about the last month or so of school. Here’s where I focus:
Wrap Up with Students
I like to check in with students that I’ve seen in second semester and provide some closure for the work that we’ve done. I can remember sitting with a student in the filing room (something was happening in my office?? testing??) and writing out the goals she had accomplished that year, the tools she had learned for emotional regulation, and her continuing goals for the next year. She and I both walked out of that meeting with a sense of accomplishment and she could leave with a written plan to refer to over the summer. I didn’t create anything fancy, we just chatted and I made visual notes.
Check in with Teachers
The last month of school is a great time to do a super-quick check in on how things went for the year. Teachers are tired too and I don’t want to overwhelm them. At the same time, their memory might not be so fresh at the beginning of next year. If I’m able, I like to pop into grade level meetings for 5-10 minutes max to ask “what went well this year? What do you think this group of students will need next year? What do you think your upcoming students will need?” I jot down a few notes and that helps me to get an idea of planning that might be needed.
End of the Year Evaluation
When I meet with my administrator at the end of the year, I show them my national model results and generally share successes from the year. At the same time, I want to know from my administrator what they see as the most important work for the upcoming year. What are their priorities? Are there shifts we need to make in the counseling program to support the priorities of the school?
I’m the worst at this one! I like to be action oriented and am often frustrated with self reflection activities. During the school year, I keep a running list of items to remember for the upcoming year. I still do this! But it's helpful to really think about what went well, what you would do differently, and what your priorities are for the next year.
One of my favorite end of the year traditions is to wave the buses off. It's a mixture of excitement (summer!) and sadness (hope my babies are OK). What do you do to end the school year with intention? I would love to hear!