The calendar for this year is almost done. While for most people this means the start of a brand new year, teachers know it means this school year is halfway to the finish line.
What better time to make some resolutions to improve one’s teaching methods and quality of life? The key to making resolutions that stick is choosing ones that are honestly achievable. Here are some of the most powerful, essential, and downright helpful resolutions teachers can make for this new year!
WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER
It goes without question the best teachers are always working hard. Maybe even too hard. Teacher burnout is a real epidemic, as there isn’t really an end time to a teacher’s work day. Pledge to devise methods that are more economical with your time, and can achieve the same results. We suggest keeping a journal and graph of how you spend your time and what you accomplish for the first month, then reset your methods accordingly.
BE A POSITIVE FORCE
A new year is a chance to readjust the old attitude. At the midpoint of the school year, it’s easy for teachers to feel exhausted, and with abject tiredness can come negativity in the mind. Use this time to focus on daily, positive affirmations. Before your students enter the classroom, write down the best traits you have to offer as reminders. At the end of the day, take stock of the little, quiet joys you experienced. And most of all, treat everyone you come across in your day with kindness and empathy. Make it your mission to be positive and you’ll see wonderful changes in your life.
ADD THE VARIETY SPICE TO YOUR CLASSROOM LIFE
This one is for some of our more seasoned teachers, but we all know how it’s easy to stick to plans that work. It’s easy and gratifying to know we figured out a sure-fire way to reach students with our lessons. However, doing the same things over and over can damper our overall enthusiasm. Teachers need unlimited enthusiasm to engage the students of today. We suggest making it a priority to try a brand new, experimental lesson plan twice a month. It may be something you heard at a conference, or from a colleague, or just a new idea you came up with in the shower. Either way, promise yourself you will try all new tactics in the classroom.
We all know how the fitness industry tends to do its best business at the beginning of the year, when most people have made the resolution to get in shape. We think this is a great idea, but what about incorporating fitness into your daily routine at school? Try challenging yourself to find a few minutes in your day to stretch, do some air squats, walk around through the hallways, or do some yoga at school. A little bit goes a long way!
MAKE TIME FOR EACH OF YOUR STUDENTS
With so many students in class, it’s difficult for a teacher to make time for the individual student. However, it won’t be hard if you have a plan and a promise to make it happen. This year, look for ways to encourage students to schedule time to meet with you more often. Even just a few minutes of one-on-one discussion can do wonders for students who may be quietly struggling. Make yourself available.
TEAM UP WITH YOUR ADMINISTRATORS
It’s easy to become bogged down and frustrated with school-wide inactions and decisions, but instead of fueling the negative chatter, find ways you can help the agenda. Just as you are staying positive and creating time to meet with each of your students, find ways to have your voice heard within the school. At faculty meetings, make it a point to engage in a constructive dialogue every time. Take time to say hello to the administrators and ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them. Just starting the conversation will open a door for you to give your suggestions. Remember, you all have the same goal – to improve education for all students.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
Your students are quite astute. Maybe they don’t recall how to add improper fractions, but they know exactly what you wore every Wednesday for the last month. Make the resolution to improve your wardrobe, with a few new additions to the rotation every month. It will imbue you with confidence and keep you feeling fresh and ready to take on any challenge the year throws at you.
What are the resolutions you plan on making this year?