By Teachers, For Teachers
When it comes to a New Year’s resolution, many people tend to make them personal. These resolutions usually involve eating better, trying to lose weight, or finally finishing that book you were reading or taking a new class. However, the new year doesn’t just have to be about personal resolutions. It’s a great opportunity for teachers to take a look at their teaching strategies and classroom practices too. Here are five must-do teaching strategies in the form of resolutions to follow this new year. If you really want to spice things up this year, you will give these teaching strategies a try.
While this may seem like a challenging task to master, it’s actually pretty attainable. All you have to do is make the resolution to get organized a little bit more each week. For example, give yourself some time by creating a list of the specific things that you want organized. Then, each week take a few minutes of your day to tackle these items on your list. For instance, during week one, your resolution is to organize all students’ desks and folders. Week two is to tackle your classroom library. Week three’s resolution is to organize your desk, and so on. By starting small, you will have a better chance at completing your resolution.
Technology is an essential 21st century skill that all students must know and understand. If you aren’t incorporating any tech tools into your lessons right now, then maybe it’s time to start. You can start off your New Year’s resolution small by vowing to incorporate some type of tech tool at least once a week into your lessons. Then, as the weeks progress, you can increase the amount of time spent on technology. If you are lucky enough to have a class set of tablets, a few computers in the classroom, a Smartboard, or any other piece of technology, then make sure that you utilize them.
Today’s technology makes it easy for teachers to go paperless. If you decide that your New Year’s resolution is to be more environmentally savvy in your classroom, and to go paperless, then go for it! Now this is the best time to do so because classrooms across the country have never had more accessibility to technology than they do right now. If your school district is not privy to, or cannot afford, the funds for your class to go paperless, then go online to a website like Donorschoose.org and ask donors for the technology that you need to make it possible.
Traditional classrooms are becoming a thing of the past, and you may be seeing more flexible classrooms in your school. If you have ever been curious how a flexible classroom works, or you already know how it works but have always wanted to try and incorporate a few new flexible seating options into your classroom, then the new year is the best time to start. Make a resolution to get flexible by adding a few alterative seating options into our classroom. All you have to do to get started is add some bean bag chairs, couches, and or even toss a few pillows in a pile in the corner of the room. If you really want to shake things up, then you can purchase a standup desk, or a few exercise balls to add to the classroom as well.
Take some time to get your passion back for teaching. This attainable resolution is pretty simple. You can start by surrounding yourself will passionate people. This can be easy to do considering you are surrounded by teachers all day long. Try and move towards the teachers who you know have a deep love for their job. By surrounding yourself with these colleagues you will find that your own passion will start to emerge once again. Keeping the fire lit is not easy. Teaching can be very challenging, and what it all comes down to in the end is your passion. Your passion and drive is going to be what keeps you in your profession.
While New Year’s is a time for self-reflection and self-assessment, it can also an opportunity for you to view the new year as a new beginning. Take the time to make resolutions for yourself and your profession. But always remember that only you have the ability to make the changes that are necessary for your own happiness.
What types of classroom New Year’s resolutions are you making this time? Please feel free to share your resolutions in the comment section below, we would love to hear your thoughts.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.