Believe it or not, 2019 is here! For many, a new year brings new goals, challenges and resolutions. Teachers are in a unique situation as they are able to influence young minds to start the year off with a positive mindset and excitement for the new semester.
There is no better time than now to establish a few easy, yet impactful, resolutions to set you up for success in 2019.
Reflect and review
A great way to start off the new semester or quarter is to reflect on the previous term. Make a list of accomplishments you are happy with and aspects you would like to improve on. Set goals and tasks based on your reflections. Then, make any necessary adjustments in order to make gradual improvements in the classroom. Taking time to reflect on previous experiences and adjusting when necessary will set you, and your students, up for better success.
Make subtle classroom changes
A new year means fresh beginnings. Why not do some reorganizing in the classroom? Some ideas include setting up the desks in a different pattern, updating the posters or bulletin boards, and adding more organizational spaces and sections. Additionally, try redecorating your desk area. Adding a few bright folders or even a new plant will spice up your work area. Subtle changes like this foster a new and fresh work environment which promotes productivity and creativity.
Also, don’t be afraid to try something new. The beginning of the semester is a perfect time to take small risks or do something outside-the-box. Your students will appreciate your diversity and thoughtfulness.
Utilize physical activity
If your classroom is not as physically active as you would like, make a resolution in 2019 to incorporate more activity. Come up with assignments that require movement and action. Sitting in a desk all class is often boring for students. This can be as simple as getting the blood flowing by implementing a quick “stretching session” in the middle of the class where everyone takes a break to stand up for 30 seconds. Be creative to make sure you and your students are getting some kind of added activity during long lectures or periods of sitting.
Have “you time”
Teachers manage dozens of kids at any given time and their thoughts often run a mile a minute. When you get some downtime, make sure you have time for just yourself. Make “you time” by enjoying a lunch or planning period alone to gather your thoughts and reflect. Turn on your favorite music, pick up a book or partake any other calming activities you enjoy.
Additionally, some people enjoy “you time” by shopping for a new work outfit, getting a haircut, or starting a new wellness or workout routine. If you feel confident in your appearance and health, you will perform better in the classroom. Think of yourself as a role model for your students and dress for success and live a healthy lifestyle.
Work on professional development
This year, make an effort to develop professionally. This could include a handful of things including attending your alma matter’s networking event or taking an advanced class on a topic that could benefit your teaching. Look at the big picture and map out your career for the next ten years. What do you see? Becoming a department head? Getting an advanced degree? Taking continuing education classes? Consider professional development and make it a priority, if applicable to your career goals.
Always remember why you became a teacher
Teaching is no walk in the park and some days are harder than others. During tough times, remember what brought you to this path in the first place. Think of the “lightbulb moment” on your student’s face when he finally understood the quadratic formula. Or the student who thanked you for showing her that fun way to memorize the periodic table. Small moments like this often add up to one big reason why teaching is your calling. Reminisce on why you became an educator and use those happy moments to get through one day at a time.
Make this term the best yet by setting attainable resolutions. And remember, while it may seem like summer break is far away, it will be here before you know it! GHR Education wishes you a productive and meaningful 2019!