By Teachers, For Teachers
The start of the new year is the perfect time for us in the teaching profession to make a few attainable teacher resolutions. When school starts in the late summer or early fall, we’re energized, excited, and ready to go. We can’t wait to implement all of our new ideas that we thought of over summer break. Then, before we know it, the new year is upon us. January is the time to take a moment and think about what we want to accomplish in the teaching profession. Take this month to refresh and start anew. Muster up some of that excitement that you had in the start of the school year, and really take the time to use those great ideas that you came up with and implement them into your daily routine. We asked individuals in the teaching profession just like you what are a few low-key, easy-to-follow resolutions for teachers, and this is what they had to say.
This is usually everyone’s first to-do at the start of the new year, and it’s probably because everyone knows that when your things are organized, it makes your life easier. While this may seem like a challenging task, in actuality it’s pretty attainable. All you have to do to make this resolution a reality is to get organized a little bit more each week. For example, create a list of the specific things that you want to get organized. Then, each week, take a few minutes of your day to tackle the items on your list. For instance, if organizing your students’ desks and folders is on the top of your list, then during the first week, spend some time making that happen. If the next task on your list is to tackle your classroom library, then during week two, enlist the help of your students to help complete this task, and so on. When you start small, you’ll have a better chance at completing your resolution.
For many teachers, trying to keep their work/home life balanced is a struggle, especially when they return to work from winter break refreshed and ready to go. Many teachers find that they tend to lose sight of their own health during this time. Make sure that you’re carving out time for yourself and your family. It’s easy to bring your work home with you: The hard part is to try and make a resolution that you will stick to, one that will allow you to get your work done at school so you won’t have to bring it home. Try making a resolution that you will be able to follow in order to have a good work/home balance. Make a vow to only bring schoolwork home once a week, rather than every night. Try and go to school early or stay 15 minutes late to get it done at school instead of bringing your work home. Make time for your family and for yourself. Go to coffee with friends or take that yoga class after work. In order to ensure that you’ll have a perfectly well-balanced life, you must make self-care a priority.
In the beginning of the school year, you probably spent some time playing getting-to-know you games with your students. You may have learned your students’ names, some of their likes and dislikes, and maybe even a little bit of information about their families. But how well do you really know each of your students? This year, make a resolution to spend some individual time to get to know your students on a more intimate level. If you think that’ll take too much time, then try the “Two-by-Ten Strategy.” This is where you take two minutes out of your day for 10 consecutive days to get to know a student. By the end of the 10 days, you’ll be surprised just how much you’ve learned about them. The more you know about them, the closer your teacher-student relationship will become, which can make for a great pathway for the students to succeed in school. Getting to know your students on a higher level can also help you structure your lessons around their likes and dislikes. Think about all of the students that you can help achieve success just by taking a few extra minutes to get to know them better.
As wonderful and refreshing as creating a few New Year’s Resolutions may be, you have to remember that it needs to be realistic. Oftentimes, when you create a resolution that’s unattainable, then it gets ignored. Make sure that you are being realistic when creating your resolutions, so you’ll be sure to follow them.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions for the teaching profession this year? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear what you have to say about this topic.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.