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8 New Ways to End Your Year With Love

by Janet Lee Stinson

photo(4)Leaving my classroom in June with only the necessary duties done (stacking desks, counted books, key turned in) made me feel so empty when the new year started. That is why I added the following items to my year end duties with love:

Organize your “Nice File”-A nice file is a place for you to collect all of the nice things your receive from students, parents and colleagues. Place your nice file in your filing cabinet labelled, “Nice.” NOTE-For me, it is important to actually have the nice notes in physical form. So, I print up emails that make me smile and place them in the file. ~The last day of school is the perfect time to sit with your nice file. It is important to add a nice note for yourself from yourself. Start with…Dear Me, This year I am so proud of you for making a difference…

Positive Phone Calls-Make at least two positive phone calls home during the last week of school. Choose two students that have made improvements throughout the year and let their caring adults know. NOTE: These improvements do not have to be classified as academic. Making these phone calls will also end your year on a positive note and this good feeling will carry on to the next year. What a great way to spend a little time on the last day!

Reach out to a new Teacher-Make a point of finding one new-ish teacher in the building. Cross paths with this person and ask one question, What was the best part of your year? Really listen to the response and take it in. The answer you get might bring you back to your own first years of teaching or the answers just might inspire you in a new way. Taking the time to speak to a new teacher during that last week of school could make the difference for this person. You never know who is struggling with the year. Maybe that someone is you. Reach out…it matters.


To read the rest of Janet Lee’s list, visit her blog, This Side of the Mirror-A Journey Through Reflection. 


Janet LeeJanet Lee has been an English teacher/Department Chair, Adult literacy advocate with Arnie Stewart, Nipissing University Reading Part 3 Instructor, Student Success Literacy Consultant, and Nelson Literacy 7-10 instructional writer and media specialist. Janet Lee enjoys maintaining her blog  This Side of the Mirror-A Journey Through Reflection  to inspire teachers and address practical issues in education.


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  • Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca)

    Janet Lee, I really like your suggestions here! The one that struck me was the last one on this list — “reaching out to a new-ish teacher.” Every year at the end of the school year, we get at least one new teacher. I’ve been there before, and it’s always hard being the new person in a building with everyone else that knows each other. While I’ve usually tried to touch base with this teacher, this year, I’m going to make a special effort to connect.

    Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

    • Janet Lee

      Thanks for the comment, Aviva! Those last days of school can be so hectic. Finding the time to End the year on a positive note can build a community that will last through the summer until the new year begins. I am certain the teacher you mention will appreciate your extra efforts to connect. :) JL