CONGRATULATIONS! You are either already in post-planning, done with post-planning, or it’s on the horizon. Keep these 5 tips in mind specifically for art teacher post-planning. They will help you wrap up the year and prepare for back to school so you can actually enjoy your summer break.
1. GET ORGANIZED
Don’t procrastinate and leave your room and storage closets a mess at the end of the school year. There is nothing better than coming back at the start of school to a beautiful, clean classroom. If your students are still in school, use them to clean and organize for you. I require this as a final participation grade at the end of each semester. It’s amazing how much can get done when 20+ grade-motivated art students are at work. Read more about cleaning assignments in my blog post here.
Art teacher post-planning looks different from so many other teachers because we have so much more clean-up. It can be overwhelming, but take the time and get it done (and do it right). If you have time, label your supplies. This will make the beginning of the year run much smoother because your students will be able to locate everything they need. Check out organization tips here.
2: THROW IT OUT
We all know art teachers are master hoarders. Not only do we collect everything we can get our hands on, but the art room often becomes a dumping ground. I have been approached countless times with “Would you want this? Can you use this? I thought this would make a cool project.” And these little treasures are the most RANDOM things. Because my art teacher hoarding kicks in immediately, I almost always said yes, and about 50% of the time I regret it.
Take a serious look at your “but I might use it one day” pile. Will you actually use it? If not, throw it out. Marie Kondo every scrap of paper. No joy sensed? Throw it out. I know this is a tall order for many art teachers, but I believe in you. Having the piles of junk and collections out of the way will clear space for your much-needed, actually-used supplies.
3: CLEAR YOUR DESK
I was typically required to clear off my desk at the end of the year. It made it much easier for the summer cleaning crews to come through and spiff everything up. But, even if I wasn’t required, I always cleared my desk. Like the dumping-ground artroom, the teacher’s desk is a quick growing junk pile. At this point all artwork should be graded and handed back, all that is left is your personal mess. Clean it up. Go through the random pencils, Sharpies, and secret pairs of scissors. Secure your personal items in your drawers, and throw out (recycle) the millions of sheets of paper.
4: ORDER SUPPLIES
If you have any remaining budget at the end of the year, order supplies for next year. I always think ahead to the first 2 weeks of school. What projects will I start with? What supplies do I need for making sketchbooks? If my start-of-the-year supply order is running late (this has happened more than once) what is the minimum I need to get by? Returning from the summer to boxes of supplies ready to go is better than Christmas morning. It will feel like you have a handle on things from day one.
If you are out of budget money and you have wiggle room in your personal budget, talk with your administrators to see if you can pre-order on your dime and submit a receipt for reimbursement at the start of the year.
5: SECURE YOUR SUPPLIES
I once returned from my wonderful summer break to find my floor covered in paint (not unusual for an art room, but this was big stripes of red paint) and all my paint used up. After some hunting, I found out the cheerleaders got a headstart on football game banners and thought the art room was the perfect place to find supplies. If you can lock your supplies up, do it. After this incident in I began moving most of my consumable supplies from the unlocked classroom cabinets to my locked storage closet. This was easy to do during the cleaning and consolidating process. Don’t let other departments use your supplies, especially consumable supplies. Lock them up, they can purchase their own paint.
If you can check these 5 things off of your art teacher post planning to-do list, I know you will feel much more prepared going back into the school year. Once you finish, go celebrate, you earned it!
Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog post! Good luck as your wrap up the school year and don’t touch work over summer break. When it’s back to school save time and effort by grabbing ready-to-go, tested resources on my TPT here and blog shop here. Read some back-to-school activities here to get you started (but NOT during summer break!).
Until next time!