Music Ed Mentor Podcast #023: Year-End Checklist

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #023: Year-End Checklist

The school year is almost over and in my case, things are ending with a bang! Three weeks ago the band teacher at my school had surgery and needed a week off. I agreed to sub for him while he was out, especially since I’ll be taking over for him next year when he retires. Adding classes to my already full schedule has made efficiency a huge priority as I finish the year.

Today’s episode is all about finishing strong at the end of school year. Whether you’re completing your first or your thirtieth year, I hope these insights and tips will help you be more efficient and relaxed. Most importantly, I hope you finish this year strong so that you can start next year even stronger. This episode isn’t so much about ending this year as it is about laying the groundwork to start next year.

This Episode Is Also Available On:

In This Episode, You’ll Learn How To:

  • Go into “triage” mode to make sure you’re focusing on what matters most
  • Find time to plan every day
  • Transform a checklist into a schedule

Ultimate Year-End Checklist

I’ve included a master end-of-the-year to-do list to jump-start your planning and efficiency. Download the checklist here

Three Key Takeaways

“Cross off anything that doesn’t actually HAVE to get done.”

Focus on what really matters. For me that meant crossing off the things that I could reasonably put off until school was officially over. Purging my music library and getting choir robes laundered are important, but they don’t have to be done right this minute. Spending the remaining budget so I don’t lose that funding has to be done now. Prioritizing tasks helped me stay calm and finish the year strong.

“Change out the word ‘should’ for the phrase ‘I get to.’”

It may sound like a cheesy word game, but thinking positively about tasks really does make you more efficient. It’s not that you “should” do an instrument inventory you “get to” do it. Taking this positive approach will help inspire you and can even help keep you focused when it’s an unpleasant task (like purging that music library).

“Have a realistic schedule.”

You probably have an idea of how long each end-of-the-year task is going to take, but be smart with your planning. Taking the large instruments over to the repair shop might only take 15 minutes until there’s traffic or a line or your contact at the store isn’t there. Don’t cram too much into one day.



Elisa Janson Jones specializes in helping music educators build, grow, and manage thriving school music programs. With an MBA alongside her degree in music, she is also a coach and consultant to small businesses and nonprofits around the country, and serves as the conductor of her local community band. She has been teaching music for nearly 20 years and currently holds the prestigious position of elementary music teacher at a private K-8 Catholic School in Grand Junction, Colorado. Elisa was a top presenter at the NAfME National Conference in 2017 and will be presenting at state conferences in 2018. She is the founder of the International Music Education Summit and the author of The Music Educator’s Guide to Thrive.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By viewing or browsing our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More Information