Do you make New Year’s resolutions? It seems that this is one of those things that sounds like a great idea – in theory, but in reality – it doesn’t seem to work out well for most people. Me included. But, it does work for classroom teachers. Because the reality is – if you are to become a reflective teacher – which you must – you have to resolve yourself to the fact that you can always improve your practice.
One of the things that I love about being a teacher is the fresh start you get each year with a new class, sometimes a new grade level, or even a new classroom. Oh, the possibilities! Everyone gets a chance to be better – whether it’s content knowledge, classroom management, organization, professional development, or time management.
Here’s the beautiful part about this profession….we also get do-overs after the winter break! Maybe your school year didn’t start out well, or being a new teacher (or veteran) was totally overwhelming and this is the first mental break you have had – guess what? You can reset, re-do, or just improve in any area. It can be little improvements or big ones. Here’s a few tips on how you can go back with a fresher outlook and a plan to improve in 2018!
Now that you have a had some time off, it’s easier to reflect on your school year so far. What is going well? What is definitely NOT going well? Is the student behavior in your classroom structured in a way that encourages learning? Does your data reflect growth with your students? How is your relationship with parents? Is there something that has been bothering you about your class, but you weren’t sure what it was?
Think through some of these questions and pick ONE area you would like to improve.
Once you have chosen the area you want to improve, think about what exactly needs to be changed. What result do you want? How will you know if it has improved? How much do you need to change in order for that result?
Keep it as simple as you can. Sometimes one little change can make a big difference.
Commit to making this one change. Plan it out and be consistent. Give it time to develop before you assess whether it improved the situation.
Once you decide you want to make a change – you will look forward to going back and tackling this challenging, stressful, and fulfilling profession once again! There is nothing like a fresh start to motivate and inspire us! Not only that – you will have taken the first step in becoming a reflective teacher. That alone will get you on the right path in your teaching career! Good luck and Happy New Year 2018!