Being a busy schoolteacher or administrator, you’re probably wondering like we are: where did 2019 go? Time sure does fly by when you’re doing it all as an educator like lesson-planning, grading papers, managing parents and students, and balancing a home life too.
With the new year practically here, make sure you take a moment to congratulate all you’ve accomplished so far. Whether you’re new to teaching or a seasoned pro, the fact is you’ve made it through half a school year, and that’s something to be proud of! And yes, the last thing you might want to think about as you go into holiday break mode is the new school year to come. But as all teachers know, it’s good to have a plan in place to keep the momentum of your classroom success on a roll.
And even if you felt your classroom go off the rails a bit as the holidays approach, the new year is always the perfect time to recharge and set the groundwork for better things to come. Set yourself up to be a successful teacher in the new year with these recommendations!
Plan to Reinforce the Groundwork
As your students enjoy their time off this winter, school and the classroom might be far from their minds. So, to set yourself to be a successful teacher in the new year, remember to use the return from the long break as an opportunity to remind your kids what it means to be successful students.
Be sure to review the groundwork of your classroom and what your expectations are to get everyone back on track and ready to learn. Modeling behavior is a good way to do it without being overbearing and has research to back up its effectiveness. You can also reward those students on their best behaviors as an incentive for other students to follow suit. A new year means a fresh start for everyone involved, and streamlined classroom management is one of the most crucial foundations that a successful teacher stands on.
Resolve to Reflect with Note-Taking
As you know, the new year is a time for resolutions and self-reflection. Over the break, you may want to take some time to ponder all your successes during the first half of the school year in the classroom and identify areas of improvement.
Now, consider taking this a step further and making this type of reflection a daily habit. If you don’t already have one, keeping a teaching journal is a very effective tool for tracking your work in the classroom. Resolve to take a few minutes after each day’s lessons to jot down what went well with your lessons, what the students seemed to miss, and any outstanding questions they had. This will help you refine your same lesson plans for next year and make any adjustments to your upcoming plans.
Set Goals for Professional Development
The new year is also a great time to look ahead and set goals for the future. And if you’re in education for the long haul, you’ll want to use this time to assess where you see yourself going in this career. Consider your personal goals in the short, medium, and long-term. What do you want to accomplish when the new year comes around again next year. What about in five years or ten?
While PD classes are often required for teachers during the school year, take some time to explore resources on your own outside of school. You can start by following up on any educational research that’s intrigued you recently or in the past. Also consider looking into continuing education programs and courses or reach out to professional organizations to build up your network and your knowledge at the same time. When you pursue your own interests and invest in your development, you’ll likely be more motivated and engaged in your teaching career all the way through.
Make Room for Balance as a Successful Teacher
As you’re most definitely aware of, teaching is one of those professions that requires your own time outside of the classroom to be successful. Between grading homework, lesson-planning, and meeting with parents, it can be challenging to keep your home and work life in balance.
Take time during your break to think of ways you can achieve more balance this school year around. A simple thing such as a reduction of homework not only can take time grading off your plate, but it’s been shown to improve student success and engagement too! And happier more well-rounded students, means better classroom management for you, already bringing things back into balance. What habits can you set that will give you time to recharge weekly and daily? Perhaps it’s taking up the yoga class you’ve been thinking about. Or maybe it’s taking ten minutes out of your day to practice meditation and mindfulness. It might simply be resolving to go for a walk with a friend, family member, or colleague each day when school lets out.
And if lesson-planning is something that gives you lots of undue stress, have a few pre-made lesson plans on reserve. Daybreak Lesson Plans is here to help with CCSS-aligned, scripted, quality lesson plans made for teachers by veteran teachers! So, if you’re having a stressful week or have a last-minute emergency, you don’t have to stress about sub plans or classroom plans in general. Browse our lesson plan memberships to have easily downloadable ELA and Math lesson plans at your fingertips all new year long or browse individual lesson plans one by one.
With these simple tips your on your way to be a successful teacher in the new year and for many more to come. Happy Holidays!