By: Courtney Kowalczyk, M.Ed.
It is hard to believe that 2010 is already here! The holidays came and went so quickly, and now we are on to bigger and better things in the New Year. As a teacher and consultant, I believe that starting a new year is always a great time to put into action our personal New Year’s resolutions. Now, many of us typically think about and plan our personal resolutions; but have you ever thought about making resolutions for yourself professionally as well? Making changes for the better in our professional lives is just as important as in our personal lives.
As teachers, we know there are so many things that we need to do day in and day out to keep our classrooms working efficiently and effectively. Planning lessons, managing schedules, and keeping up with grading are just a few of the daily activities that we are required to do. As you move through the rigmarole of our professional lives, do you ever stop and think about what you are learning or gaining from your professional experience? Have you learned a new strategy and implemented it in the classroom? Is teaching still fun, or have you fallen into the rut of the day in and day out routine? Here are a few simple suggestions and ideas for New Year’s resolutions for teachers that will help keep you fresh and moving forward in your professional career.
- Read a new strategy book or article for teachers. It is important for teachers to keep up on their reading and understanding of educational practices and procedures. Every month, new strategy books and research articles that share research based best practices come out for teachers. You can find these materials online through your preferred search engine or database. It is amazing to see all of the materials that are available today!
- Subscribe to a teacher friendly website.The internet holds thousands of teacher websites that are available to assist you with learning new methods, gaining lesson ideas, and managing your schedule and routines. It is important for you to take the time to find a site that can benefit you and use it frequently throughout the week.
- Take a college class. Universities and local intermediate school districts frequently offer classes for teachers. Attending a class or college course is a great way to freshen up on best practices, as well as meet and socialize with fellow teachers.
- Visit a fellow teacher’s classroom. It is really amazing to see all of the different ideas that teachers use in their classrooms. By visiting fellow teacher’s classrooms, you can gain some wonderful insight and ideas to use with your students as well.
- Read an inspirational quote every morning. At the beginning of everyday, it can be very inspirational to read a quote to yourself or to your class as a whole. Quotes can be a great tool to keep you fresh and ready for the day ahead. You can find calendars with daily quotes on them, as well as a many quote resources online.
- Take care of yourself. Lastly and most importantly, teachers need to take care of themselves personally and professionally. Try to leave your work at school, at least a few nights a week, so you can rest and relax once you get home. Plan a date night with your spouse or significant other, and plan not to talk about work. Find things that you enjoy, and be sure to participate in them frequently.
As teachers, it is important for us to make positive changes in ourselves personally and professionally. Our student success will depend on the best practices we are using, and our enthusiasm for teaching. Make 2010 the best year yet for yourself, your family, and your love of teaching!