You know you are checking out for good. You are moving on to a new position, or you are retiring. Wooo-hooo! But you want to leave your soon to be former students in the best hands possible. Here’s some things you can do to prep your job for the next teacher! If you are coming into a new job next year, this list can help you ask some helpful questions.

A list of what your students can do

Leave them a checklist by grade of skills your students have mastered. Even though they may be coming in with a different methodology or plan, they’ll appreciate knowing what skills your students can do. If your students can read la on the staff, write it, compose with it, and decode patterns AND write them with sol-mi-la patterns, tell them that. It will help if there is a language transition (such as rhythm syllables) and it will help inform them of what sort of curriculum you’re been following.

A list of composers or cultures you’ve covered recently

If you do a composer of the month, or use something like my 32 weeks of listening, let them know. They’ll appreciate not going through creating a HUGE lesson on Duke Ellington if you featured him prominently at the end of the school year and a good portion of your students will remember. If you did a deep dive into Mexican culture with second grade, the next teacher won’t want to plan a huge unit on Mexican culture for 3rd grade.

Don’t leave student info

Seriously. Don’t “warn them”. Let them develop their own relationships with students (and staff). Someone did this for me at the beginning of my career and I had preconceived ideas of which students were going to act a certain way. Now, did a lot of them follow that pattern? Probably. But what if you just happen to be someone that has a personality clash with a certain student but the next teacher doesn’t have that? I’ve had students that don’t get along with other teachers but we never had a problem. Don’t put that on them and let the teacher discover the kids for themselves.

Every Year Things

A list of the things that happen every year so they aren’t caught off guard. If the Kindergarten teachers ask you to help with graduation songs, or special persons day is in October and 5th grade performs every year. Also if kids learn instruments in certain years, or if there is an elective group for certain levels. Include performances that usually happen (ex: the 3rd grade program is focused on state history, the 4th graders always go on a overnight trip in the middle of the week during program preparation, or if your school expects everyone to teach reading concepts during March.)

A complete inventory

Include instruments, octavos, books, manipulatives, writing utensils, consumables, and everything else you have on your list. This will be incredibly helpful for them as they try to set up the room and their curriculum.

A List of Past Programs

Or at least a list of past programs from the last few years such as musicals that you did. This way they won’t try to repeat a musical with the same age group their first year there. If you have choir style concerts, this can help as well giving a glimpse at what students accomplished as well as literature they know and won’t want to repeat.

What Not To Leave

  • Again – student info
  • Stuff you personally bought unless you won’t ever use it again.
  • Log Ins – They will get their own. Confirm that subscriptions the school purchases will be taken care of from the office.
  • Any “notes” to be helpful. They will have their own way of doing things, systems, and plans.
  • Digital licenses (aka TpT stuff). They are only covered for the purchasing teacher unless the school itself purchased it.
  • Old copies they will have to sort through.
  • A “must do” list. As much as you loved that special event, the new teacher may leave it behind. You can include it on a list of stuff that has happened but if the admin gives their blessing, they don’t have to do it.

Happy trails to you! Hope this gives you some ideas of how to make transitions smooth!

Melissa Stouffer-1

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