For most teachers, January marks a mid-point for the school year. Around this time, classes have been in session for 100 days. The large holiday breaks are over, and it’s a long push towards the end of the academic year. This is an excellent time for teachers to make some New Year’s resolutions. Here are five resolutions for teachers of all grade levels.
1. Resolve to lose wait: Don’t delay in grading papers or scoring tests. As soon as a paper hits your desk, correct it, file it, or respond to it as necessary. This will help in keeping grades up to date and your to-do list shorter. A long to-do list, or a stack of ungraded papers triggers stress. Get it out of the way and get on with the next lessons.
2. Resolve to communicate more with parents: Set up an email list for the parents of your students. Send out a weekly email with updates about what is going on in class, what tests will be coming home, and any help or supplies your class might need. Establish a monthly newsletter. If needed, require a parent signature in order to be sure students are taking home important information.
3. Resolve to be a better staffer: Every teacher has staff members that they get along with well, and others where relations are strained or difficult. Make an effort to be gracious and encouraging to all staff members. A positive work environment goes a long way for all involved.
4. Resolve to keep things even: Classrooms are made up of a large range of students, male and female, different races and different abilities. While we would all like to think we give equal attention and support to all students, for a variety of reasons, we can find ourselves paying more attention to certain children either. This is a good time to focus on spreading your attention to every student. One way to do this is vary grouping strategies for different lessons.
5. Resolve to remember why you teach: We all have different reasons for becoming teachers, but we all share a passion for learning and watching children grow through the process. Resolve to take a moment each day either by looking at a memento, reading a passage, or simply reflecting quietly in your room about why you teach and most importantly why it is important to you to be the best teacher you can be.
Teachers are role models. By making New Year’s resolutions and working to stay with them, teachers can model good life strategies for their students. Take these teaching tips for yourself, or come up with your own New Year’s resolutions for teachers.