How to Make it to the End of the School Year

Episode 66 of the 10-Minute Teacher- An Audio Blog Post

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Today I share a post I wrote several years ago that tends to be shared like crazy this time of year. I hope it encourages you to finish well. Here’s the link to the original blog post: if you want to read it instead of listening to it.

how to make it to the end of the school year

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 Transcript of How to Make it to the End of the School Year

I’ve included the transcript here today since I’m the one who did the show. Just keeping it simple. The link for the transcript still points here!

Go to the original blog post here:

[Recording starts 0:00:00]

Hello remarkable teachers, I’ll let you know at the end of the show how you can get my list of my 200 plus favorite Ed tech tools and sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter.

 It is my home to shine a light of encouragement on you with the 10 Minute Teacher. And I just wanted to give a shout out to some of you who’ve really encouraged me lately. So I got the loveliest letter from Erika Lewis. And Erika, this message is for you.

                    Imagine you driving to your special needs school and having a more positive mindset as you listen to the 10 Minute Teacher. That sweet email you sent me really does make my day and I forwarded it to my husband, Kip, who’s the producer and it really excited us. I know that it may sound silly but I really do appreciate the reviews and the kind remarks.

                    Also, some of the latest reviewers on iTunes I wanted to give you guys a shout out because there were also just some lovely reviews that you gave me. [Mark Eican, Bridgette McCaw, Kimberly Onick, Nicky Lee and Jay Biseren.] And I hope I pronounced your names correctly. But I really do read all the reviews and I appreciate it so much. Now, I’ve added a new feature for you. I’m going to start letting you know the episode number at the beginning of the show. And a lot of you have been liking the transcripts but you want an easier way to find them. So this is episode 66; How to Make it To The End of The School Year.

                    And you have to give me about 10 hours to get the transcription all together because there’s a pretty quick lead time on that but you’ll be able to go to for the full transcripts and a link to the show notes. And you’ll definitely want to check out those show notes because it has links to all kinds of things that we mentioned in the show. So I hope that is helpful for you. And now let’s get started with Episode 66; How to Make it To The End of The School Year.

The Ten-minute Teacher podcast with Vicki Davis. Every weekday you’ll learn powerful practical ways to be a more remarkable teacher today.

Vicki:           There’s a blog post I wrote three years ago that at the end of every school year it trends. So today, I’m going to turn this into a motivational Monday for all of you podcast listeners out there who may not have passed about the blog and seen this post. How to Make it To The End of The School Year.

Yesterday after school I earned my Dumpster Diver 101 Merit Badge. As a senior now, I went through the schools track looking for an unmarked photo CD that had been accidently tossed. They made out my sanity but they cannot doubt my love. After it was found I drove home quickly to take a hot bath. You know, I was reminded of a word I hadn’t used in ages, but we used it often in the 1980s, “grody.” I’m not even sure that’s a word. All the while, I started thinking about the crazy days these are. It is the end of the school year for us and you know April and May are just crazy. These are the days apt to be described by the first paragraph of a tale of two cities.

You know, right now I have three planning periods a week – not kidding. Plus Special Olympics Bocce Ball plus NHS blood drive, plus senior slide slow, plus graduation movie, plus bidding out pulling cable for the new building, plus the technology playing and budget for next year, plus tech support, plus my book launch for Reinventing Writing to coordinate, plus graduating me second child and getting her off to college – minus sanity. I say this because tens of thousands of you live this every day. This is your life too. You totally get this. You know, too bad nobody else does and don’t expect them to, either.


                    People pretty soon are you going to start casually saying, “Aren’t you glad things are winding down?” And you know they are among the clueless. There is nothing winding down about the end of the school year, it is more like a complete and total crash. You accelerate until you run into a brick wall and you hope your seat belt lets you get out of the thing intact so you can limp off into your summer.

The first week or so of my summer is usually spent sipping coffee, staring into space and reading books where stuff gets blown up. I am worthless because I am spent and every shred of everything I had to give is given. But as one teacher to another, you’re going to make this. If you’re a new teacher and you’ve never experienced this side of the “end of school” the jolting, nerve-wracking, exhausting, ridiculous side of “ending school” then it is okay. You will make it. it is one of the toughest most taxing things you’ll experience.

Then everyone in the world is jealous of teachers but they don’t understand that we’re hurting, exhausted and we’re often wounded by this time. You know, we don’t fault new moms for staying home six to eight weeks after having a child and not dads either anymore. They’re not getting time off and we aren’t either. When the summer starts, we’ve just come through something. To me, it’s as taxing and exhausting as childbirth. I may not feel as close to death as I did when I had my 10-pound baby girl who is now 6ft 1” and graduating. But in terms of wondering if you can do one more thing, it’s the same thing.


                    So just know that you’re going to find yourself doing all kinds of things over the next six to eight weeks at the end of school. You may even find yourself in the dumpster or even worse the proverbial dumps. But hold on, you’re going to make it. Yell in the wind as it whips your hair flying by and enjoy it for what it is. Being noble, work hard, keep your commitment to excellence. It is never okay to go on auto-pilot. You know what, these kids can watch movies all summer, don’t give in the temptation to be sorry. You’ve still got things to do. Teach until the last day, find your beautiful moment every week.

You know what, teacher? You rock. And often, your nobility is observed and measured these last weeks when many of our peers slack off and head on to summer break early. Finish well. Do remarkable things. Be epic. Never settle. You know, we get one chance at this life and everything we do in the classroom is important especially how we start and we finish. Have fun with a purpose, be intentional about everything, Make memories. You know, these are hard times but they’re sweet times.

So as I emerged from playing in the trash yesterday, it was with a laugh and a high five and the joy at knowing that I showed love by my willingness to play in the trash. And that, my friends, is why you and I are here. The lessons we teach in our classrooms are important but the lessons we teach with our lives are never forgotten. And this is just another one of those lessons. The hope that if I share this little piece of myself and my own struggle that it will encourage you. We can do this, dear friends. I am so happy to be a teacher even if it’s hard.


                    So how do we make it to the end of the school year? Let’s pull each other forward, friends. We’re going to need each other in the coming days for we can’t expect the world out there to know what this is like but we should expect support, encouragement and a magnetic pull of excellence from our PLN and colleagues to finish this year in awesome ways. And remember this one essential point; the magic always happens outside your comfort zone. So of all the things you can do, don’t get comfortable. Get better and better and end in amazing ways.

You can either be memorable or you’re forgettable. And the same applies to what you teach. Live it. Be it. Be a noble. We’re in an important profession. Teach to the last day and let’s be remarkable.


Hello, remarkable teachers, I have a bi-weekly newsletter just for you. You’ll get lesson plans, ideas and lots of freebies I don’t share anywhere else. You can sign up by text message if you’re here in the United States by texting Coolcat to 444999 and you’ll be put on my email list. Now, if you’re not in the U.S. you can go to Now, when you sign up, I have a super handout of my 200-plus favorite  Ed tech tools that you can download and start exploring.


Thank you for listening to the Ten-minute Teacher Podcast. You can download the show notes and see the archive at Never stop learning.


[End of Audio 0:09:59]


[Transcription created by Some additional editing has been done to add grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Every attempt has been made to correct spelling. For permissions, please email]


The post How to Make it to the End of the School Year appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

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