Welcome to 2016 !
After a 2 week holiday that felt like it went far too quickly, I’m back in the classroom. A new year and new courses, but with the same students and same hard-to-break teaching habits.
Although the New Year is half way through the school year, it doesn’t hurt to take the time to reflect and make some teaching resolutions. These are mine – what are yours?
1. I will count the wins (especially the small ones):
I’ve been having a difficult time with attendance, missed assignments, and general apathy towards learning. The student profile in my courses is one that fits the above most days. It can be draining.
I’m going to focus on the student that DOES come to class and wants to learn, not their classmates that aren’t in attendance. I’m going to focus on the student that is making progress, however small, not fret about the one that appears to be backsliding. Unless there is something I can realistically do, I’m not thinking about what I could do if the reality of the situation was different.
2. I will be silly and have fun:
The day is long. We don’t have to be serious all the time. For the students that are coming to school, they should know that I am happy they are there. They don’t have to be subjected to their teachers’ concern about their classmates, and we don’t have to worry about upcoming exams at every moment. I love teaching because I love being around kids, and I love learning. This needs to come out as much as possible.
3. I will balance:
Every teacher on Earth probably has this on their list. I will say no. I will eat more fruit. I will go to bed at a decent hour. I will not take on too much. If I am healthy and happy, I can bring much more energy and enthusiasm to my work.
4. I will not be afraid of new things:
The technology becoming available for educators is sometimes overwhelming. I didn’t think that, at 30, I would become hesitant to incorporate change into my teaching. But I have, and I’m trying to be more open minded. I will use Slack with my co-workers. I will work on getting Google classrooms into our school. I will figure out the extensions already available in Google Drive (like Doctopus). I won’t shy away from learning more about what exactly the students are doing with their phones (even if it is scary).
5. I will remember why I do what I do
I think every teacher at some point during the year thinks about what life would be like in a different profession. I will do that, and I will also think about why I teach. I will focus on the thousand points of light that make teaching a calling and why I would really rather not do anything else.