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Attainable New Year’s Resolutions, Teaching Strategies

Janelle Cox

As teachers, we are always striving to improve ourselves, as well as the teaching strategies we use. Come Jan. 1, we start to evaluate what we like about ourselves and our lives, as well as what we don’t like. As teachers, self-assessment is a necessary part of the job. It helps us figure out what we want to improve in ourselves and our teaching strategies, as well as what we can do away with.  A resolution helps us determine what may or may not resonate with us. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions for teachers. Every teacher is unique and different, and has their own strengths and weaknesses. See if any of these resolutions fit into your individual styles and teaching strategies.

Re-Evaluate Your Teaching Strategies

What is your teaching style? Did you even know that you have one? Your teaching style is the specific way that you, and only you, teach. Are you a demonstrator? A facilitator? Or a guide? Do you have a traditional classroom or a flexible classroom? Is your classroom teacher-centered or student-centered? By asking yourself some of these questions, you can determine what kind of teaching style you have. Then, you can re-evaluate what you like and don’t like about it. Maybe your resolution is to change your teaching style, or maybe it is to just re-evaluate it a little bit to see how it works with your students.

Spice Up Your Classroom

Are you sick and tired of doing the same boring lesson plans? Are you done with the same old routines that you have you done in your classroom for the past five years? If you are, then maybe it’s time to spice up your classroom. You can make a resolution to try new lessons that incorporate technology in them, or you can try a new classroom routine like switching the morning work to the end of the school day once a week. Making a resolution that will change the way your classroom looks or feels can really spice things up and make your classroom feel new again.

Make Individual Time to Get to Know Students

In the beginning of the school year you probably spent some time playing getting-to-know you games with your students. You may have learned your students’ names, some of their likes and dislikes, and maybe even a little bit of information about their families. But how well do you really know each student? This year you can make a resolution to spend some individual time to get to know your students on a more intimate level. This meaning, the more you know about them, the closer your teacher-student relationship will become, which can make for a great pathway for the student to succeed in school. Getting to know you students on a higher level can help you structure your lessons around their likes and dislikes. This, in turn, can help each child succeed on a much higher level in school.

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Make Better Use of Your Time

There is always room to improve when it comes to your time management skills. This New Year’s, make a resolution to make better use of your time in the classroom. Instead of always going by the mantra “A teacher’s work is never done,” get things done. Learn to prioritize your tasks, organize absolutely everything in your classroom, and utilize technology to maximize your lesson planning time. If you pull out materials for the following day the night before, you will save yourself a lot of time in the morning.

Create a Work/Home Balance

It’s easy to bring your work home with you, the hard part is to try and make a resolution that you will stick to that will allow you to get your work done at school, so you won’t have to bring it home with you. Try making a resolution that you will be able to follow in order to have a good work/home balance. Make a vow to only bring schoolwork home once a week, rather than every night. Or, try and go to school early or stay 15 minutes later to get it done at school.

These are just five of the many New Year’s resolutions for teachers that you can try out in your classroom. Like everything else in life, making resolutions that you can stick to can be quite a challenge. The goal is to make them attainable, so you can get the most out of your New Year. 

What are you New Year’s resolutions for this upcoming year? Do you have any that you would like to share with us? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comment section below, we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.