The end of year chaos is inevitable. There is only one of you and stuff just needs to get done. PERIOD. Days are jam-packed and evenings are full of planning, organizing, and preparing. There is always one more gift or school item to purchase, one more activity to plan, award ceremonies to attend and prepare speeches for, and the list goes on and on. I haven’t figured out how to navigate it ALL in a stress-free manner. I ride the wave and know summer will be here before I know it. We have to, teachers are survivalists!
I know you can relate! And then comes this…
This is always a favorite comment when I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off as I head to Staples for the 96th time in search of one last obscure supply that I need in order to finish whatever it is that I have to get completed by 8AM tomorrow. I KNOW you have been there, as well. These last days are a WILD ride. And…you better take off running, random stranger, because you have NO idea! I am busy now, but summer is a bit of a whirlwind, too!
I have no advice for the random comments of others, or how to get the end of the year stuff done in an easier manner. I am a super planner, but the busyness is inevitable and it always comes down to the last minutes. It just is what it is!
I do however want to offer up some tried and true tips to help you get through the additional chaos that comes your way when your teaching day is complete…after school snacks and MEALTIME!
In my house, after school time is fast-paced. We tackle homework, backpack clear out, lunch prep for the next day, dinner-making, and we gear up for sports. Like most households, I refer to the 4-6PM time frame as the “Witching Hour.” My kids are STARVING and despite having an after school snack minutes ago, they are on the verge of passing out because they can’t have “one more snack.” To avoid racing around preparing snacks for my three, my calming the chaos after school tip is to have a snack bowl ready to go…
To make snack bags: I buy cereal, pretzels, crackers, and Goldfish, then portion them out. I pile the bags in a bowl that my kids can have access to for snack times. BOOM, no waitressing and pouring snacks while I am trying to sign school paperwork or help with homework. If friends come over, they can also help themselves. Give it a try, it is an after school chaos calmer for sure! If you don’t have kids, it is the perfect way to portion snacks so that you don’t eat more than you need. I know there are days that I can knock down a mountain of Extra Toasty Cheez-Its! Portion-control is my friend, too.
My calming the mealtime chaos is to do some meal prep over the weekend that minimizes the struggle of making dinner every night or racing through a drive-thru. My daughter and I made Salads in a Jar and it was the perfect way for me to stock my fridge with grab and eat salads for the week. Here is the Pinterest image and pin I found that inspired the idea:
I feel fortunate that 2/3 of my kiddos LOVE salad. I simply bought: Mason jars, salad ingredients my kiddos love, dressing, and enlisted help from my daughter to put a few days worth of Salad in a Jar dinners together. Here are our creations…
I gave her the chance to work on her knife skills with carrots, and then she layered everything into the jars. She LOVED it!
Whether you have kiddos or not, I highly recommend this meals made easy strategy. With minutes of prep, my daughter and I were able to make my life a whole lot easier for a few weekdays. With the kiddos eating outside, clean-up is a snap, too! Make your life easier and have some grab-and-go meals that make your chaotic teaching life seem a little easier.
All the best as you finish up your school year! May chaos be minimal, while the fun you have on these last days be abundant. Your students are lucky to have you! Best wishes tackling these last days of the year.