It’s officially 2019. School is back in session, and now is the time to start setting new goals. New Year’s resolutions have become cliché, but the start of the year is actually a good time to make positive change. This is particularly the case in education where the end of winter-break offers educators a de-facto reset.
So, what are my resolutions for 2019:
Plan a larger variety of lessons
I have been teaching for a long time. I’ve gotten in the habit using the same types of lessons, and assignments for everything. It’s easier for me, but I’m not sure it’s what’s best for kids. I’m going to commit myself to do different activities.
Participate in more extracurriculars
Last year, I had a goal to leave school when school was over because I had a habit of staying late. Now, my new goal is to stay later but for a different reason. I need to help with more extracurriculars. It’s important that the burden doesn’t fall on too few people.
Make more contact with parents
A lot of teachers don’t have trouble making negative contact with parents but I need to make a little more positive contact. Most kids don’t really get in trouble in my class, so I don’t have reason to make negative calls, but conversely, I don’t really call home for positive reports either. I need to call home and make contact with families more.
Build better relationships with colleagues
Teaching doesn’t have to be a lonely profession; we just make it that way. Teaching on an island is a choice, a choice that isolates you from your peers and limits your growth as a teacher. Peer interaction is how you find out more about students.
Leverage community partners
Our students have needs that aren’t academic. I, as their teacher, can help with some of those needs but not all of them. Often, I just accept that there are things that I can’t control, and students may have to go without the things that I can’t provide. But, I don’t have to accept that. There are a variety of community partners that can help with all the needs a student can have. I need to make sure I am making those connections.
As the 2nd half of the school year starts, it’s important to make sure that you don’t coast to the summer break. Teachers have a duty to give the effort they are asking of their students.