By- Kelli Drummer-Avendano

Even though you’re halfway through the school year, it’s a new calendar year and a perfect time to contemplate how things are going and how you can make the most of the time you have left. Here are some New Year’s resolution ideas for refreshing and reenergizing.

1. Make yourself a priority.

It’s a bit of a cliché, but teachers can’t hear it enough. You have to take care of yourself so that you can care for others, and that’s what teaching is—caring about your students so they can learn, grow, and make the most of their year. 

2. Organize.

Some people are better at this than others, but organization is all about having the right tools when and where you need them. After all, you want to work smarter, not harder. You don’t have to organize your entire classroom if that feels too daunting; just think about your day and make one change that will save you time or simplify your routine.

3. Have the students teach.

Take some work off your plate and let the students do the lesson! This is a great idea when reviewing for an upcoming assessment. Students can work in groups to create games to review different topics. Younger students may need more guidance with this activity, but they will enjoy being the “teacher” for once.

4. Let go of what you can’t control.

Teaching can lose its joy when you get caught up in the drama that comes with any job. For example, maybe there’s a sour mood in your building over a new district policy. However, you can’t let that distract you from what you love about teaching. If you can’t control it, don’t let it control you!

5. Plan better. 

Aim to minimize the work you take home by making better use of your time at school; this includes maximizing your planning period. There will be occasions when papers inevitably pile up, but hopefully you can prioritize your time to do what you need to do. Remember: Your planning period belongs to you! 

6. Try a new tech tool.

Is there a piece of technology you’ve always wanted to use in the classroom, but have been too intimidated to try? Give yourself a pep talk and incorporate it into one of your lessons. Even if it doesn’t work out the way you planned, you can always turn a technology fail into a valuable lesson about taking chances, having a back-up plan, and learning from failure.

7. Celebrate your accomplishments.

It’s important to pat yourself on the back from time to time. Relish your accomplishments, both big and small! Write them down so you can remember them when you’re having a bad day, and reward yourself with small indulgences like a special tea, chocolate, or a good book. 

8. Rearrange your room.

Everyone can have a new perspective when you change up the seating arrangement in your room. 

9. Choose your word.

If resolutions make you feel overwhelmed, try selecting a word or phrase to guide and inspire you in the classroom. For example, the word “persist” may mean teaching your students how to overcome obstacles and it may help you to push on when confronted with a challenging situation. 


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