How to Tackle Zero Week- Part 2

I know that there is always that teacher that spends their entire summer preparing for the next school year.  That is great for them, but those teachers usually only last a few years teaching, get burnt out, and move on.  I have been doing this for 15 years and I need to tell you that the key is to give yourself breaks.  We work hard when school is in and deserve the time away. 

The Last Few Weeks of the School Year

Think about your first week of school.  I usually do some regular ice breakers, time capsules, and subject reviews.  Give yourself a little present for next year and make these copies or have a volunteer make a basket of copies before the school year ends.  I always smile when I see the basket of copies for the first week of school waiting for me.  One less thing to worry about.  Leave your first-week masters in your Zero Week file so you can easily pull them out the next year.  

During the Summer

Leisurely shop for name tags, borders, and new posters for your classroom.  I like to order them on Amazon or I spend a morning going to my local teaching store with a list and a budget.  You need money for summer fun!

Go to School One Summer Morning When No One is Around

Yes, we need a summer break, but 3 to 4 hours when no one is around, is like working 15 hours on Zero Week with interruptions.    I usually go to campus on the 1st day the office is open, because my room is clean, and only the office staff is there.  I can get to my room and have absolute focused work time.  I don’t pack lunch, on purpose, so I know I will go home when I am hungry.

Summer Morning Goals

  • Arrange student’s desks in rows, groups, or tables and set up teaching tables
  • Set up the Library
  • Put up decorations that were stored for summer cleaning
  • Set up teacher desk area with office supplies
  • I make sure my computer, overhead projector, and document camera work.  IT always comes in and does updates and the custodian does a deep clean where plugs can disconnect over the summer. If a work request needs to be completed you will be the first in line.  
  • Most important of all is I set up my teaching area where I lay out my daily subjects and teaching manuals.
  • Compile a list and bring a few things home that you may want to look at before Zero Week begins- if I have my roster I will make my name tags at home, so I can laminate the first day back when everyone else is setting up their classrooms


Up next is The First Day of Zero Week- Part 3.

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