New Year’s resolutions are often dismissed as passé or unrealistic, but for many, they help create focus and even a theme for the year ahead. When it comes to New Years resolutions for teachers, the options are often so vast it can feel overwhelming. Teachers On Demand has created a round-up of suggestions for creating some resolutions for educators in the coming months. Below, teachers can find a list of ideas for the perfect resolution(s) and resources for a productive, successful 2018! Read more:
Refresh Your Classroom
Jumpstart your classroom with something fresh on the walls! Environmental factors make a huge difference in outlook, especially in the workplace. Portland’s Concordia University teaching blog writes: “studies indicate that high-quality classroom environments ‘help children feel safe, secure, and valued. As a result, self-esteem increases and students are motivated to engage in the learning process.’” A small change like a new poster or giving your desk a deep clean can lead to feeling more empowered while you’re teaching. Looking for a bigger shift? Recruit friends or family to help you give a wall a fresh coat of paint, or look to teaching blogs for a redecorating project that’s appropriate for your class’ age range. If you’re a substitute or move classrooms, consider a change in your work systems. Replace old files for crisp, new ones, or get a new work bag. Whatever you decide, make a conscious decision to shift your outlook and energy for a happy start to the year.
Make a new professional relationship- network!
Look for chances to meet new teachers, administrators, and professionals in your educational field. It can often be challenging for teachers to meet other professional colleagues because work is typically confined to a particular school. Thankfully, there are many places to network for educators. Check out conferences in your area, or teacher-based meetups on sites like meetup.com. Growing your network is useful should you ever need to make a career shift, if you’re needing some advice, and even to make new friends. Another great option: set up a Linkedin profile for yourself. It’s a great place to showcase your lesson plans, learning breakthroughs, and to look for inspiration. Don’t be shy- take a chance on making new relationships in 2018!
Focus on students who need extra attention
Difficult students- every teacher has at least one or two in their class. It can be challenging to forgive and forget, even in the new year, particularly with very challenging students. Rather than feeling guilty about your frustrations, or getting fed up, try to find new ways to connect with the students that are causing problems. Do they need different resources or disciplinary systems? Are there other teachers who might have a strategy to manage student behavior? Take a small amount of time, maybe even twenty minutes, to focus on those specific students. You can also supplement these exercises with personal development activities. Make time for meditation, deep breathing, and other sanity-infused activities in your schedule for your year. We can all benefit from taking quiet time for ourselves, and Psychology Today says “spending time with yourself is a preventative medicine to combat burnout.
Organize, organize, organize
How do your computer files look? If they’re anything like many teachers we know, they might be a little all over the place! It’s ok- implementing digital organization takes time, but it’s well worth the effort. Can you take a few hours over the weekend to give your hard drive an overhaul? If that sounds less than appealing or unrealistic, try building ten to fifteen minutes into your prep period to spend on organization. A little every day will make a big difference over time.
Offer support to other teachers
Maybe you’re feeling ahead of the game this year- if so, congratulations! It takes lots of preparation to get comfortable in your classroom. Consider the time you have available in your schedule, and open up some room to support other teachers. Perhaps there are individual contributors at your school who could use a little help with grading, prep, or even decorating their classroom. If you’re looking to increase your income, sites like TeachersPayTeachers will give you the opportunity to make a little money while sharing your activities and lesson plans with educators across the country. One small resolution you can start today? Simply make an account! Then you’re well on your way to helping other teachers, and increasing your budget.
If nothing else, a great New Year’s resolution is to get more sleep. Health Magazine writes about some of the many benefits of sleep, including improved memory, increased creativity, sharper focus, and lowered stress. While not everyone needs eight hours, many adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep every night, and suffer the consequences during the day. Rather than trying to squeeze a few more minutes of sleep into your morning, try going to bed earlier. A small goal would be to pick a time, and be sure to be in your bed before that hour. Some people might start at 10:00, while others just need to make sure they are in bed before midnight! If weeknights are difficult, try creating some time in your weekends for a nap. Whatever strategies you need to employ, make sure you are using your evenings wisely and planning for a night of great rest. Your morning routine will thank you!
Whatever your goals for the year, take a moment to reflect on what you wish to accomplish in the coming year. Write it down on a Post-It note and stick it somewhere you can see it regularly, like on your computer or bathroom mirror. With consistency, resolve, and a good attitude, achieving resolutions is possible, and even probable, in 2018.