More than many other professionals, teachers throw every part of themselves into their careers. It takes all that energy and focus to be the best they can be in the classroom. That’s why the winter break provides a welcome chance to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. For some teachers that means having an opportunity to come up with a few New Year’s resolutions.
What might that list contain beyond the usual personal vows to “stay in better touch with friends” and “yoga class – do it this time”? While the following doesn’t speak for every teacher, it might spark some resolution ideas in relation to their professional careers.
It’s easy to get weighed down by the demands of teaching. That’s especially true at the midpoint of the academic year. No other time offers a fresh start quite like flipping the calendar to a new year. Teachers can use this milestone date to write down what motivated them to get into their teaching career in the first place and resolve to keep that list top of mind in the second half of the year. While this might prove more affirmation than New Year’s resolution, it also can lead to new ideas to implement in the classroom in the coming months.
Share With Students
One way to make New Year’s resolutions more powerful is to have students participate. As suggested by one California teacher writing for the National Education Association, teachers can ask students to write their own resolutions for the New Year, then turn them in signed with their full name. Teachers hand them back at the end of the year so students can see how many they kept.
The winter break is a good time to consider where you want your teaching career to take you. In Massachusetts, with its rigorous standards for teachers, it’s also a good time to make plans for how you want to spend your summer months to meet qualification standards. One move worth considering is to plan now for furthering your education by enrolling in a master’s degree in education program. It will prepare you for any MTEL exam you have on the horizon and give you the skills to improve yourself as a teacher.
Adopt New Styles and Approaches
Every teacher has their own style. For many, it evolves through the years as experience gives them a better perspective on what works and what doesn’t work. In the New Year, resolve to put at least one new wrinkle into your teaching plan. This can involve any number of things, including:
- Giving more individual attention to students and getting to know them better
- Change up lesson plans to add more fun challenges for the students
- Use more technology tools in the classroom
- Find more resources for students that can help them feel less stressed about tests or tough assignments
Manage Time and Stress
Another inherent component of teaching is stress, some of it caused by administrative rules or ever-evolving government standards. Unfortunately, most of that is outside of a teacher’s control. One way to feel less stressed is to get a handle on what you can control, which is to better organize your teaching activities with an eye always on managing your time better.
This handful of New Year’s resolution ideas can help teachers think about goals that are both doable and beneficial. Teaching is a special career field. Take the time to make yourself the best teacher possible – while also better enjoying your time educating young minds.