About this time every year, I make a New Year’s resolution.

Correction – I make several New Year’s resolutions. To be honest, I was never very good at committing to a singular objective. The new year would come, and like so many other people, I would instantly fall back into the comfort of old routines. By the time December rolled back around, I still wouldn’t know how to speak French or play the ukulele. Then one year I decided to aim for a bigger target.

Instead of making a single resolution, I made 25. I figured I probably wouldn’t get them all done anyway, so why not create a list of things I wanted to shoot for? I wrote them all down in a notebook and kept it by my desk all year. Then something amazing happened, I started to cross them off! As I suspected, I wasn’t to get all of them done, but I still managed to achieve a good chunk of the resolutions I had made.

I guess sometimes it’s not enough to make a plan. Sometimes, you need to make several plans.

Creating Your List

Hopefully by now, most teachers are enjoying a well-deserved holiday vacation. 2020 has been a grueling year, and it’s important that we all take this time to rest up and recover. Before we all dive into 2021 though, it might be beneficial to create a list of New Year’s teaching resolutions. They don’t have to be big, and you shouldn’t worry about achieving them all, but why not give yourself something to aim for in the coming year? By creating a list of teaching resolutions, we not only chart our course for the next semester, we also give ourselves the motivation to grow.

Here are just a few to get you started:

  • Take Time to Rest: Holidays are a great time to relax, but they are no substitute for regular self-care. This year resolve to give yourself more time. Take 10 minutes each day to pursue anything you like or set a deadline in the evening to ensure you have time to decompress. You may work like a champion, but even champions need their rest!   
  • Learn Something New: Why should we expect our students to keep learning if we don’t try to as well? Resolve to learn something new this year. Collect fun facts that you can share with your class. Run a half-marathon or become an expert in tying elaborate knots. It could even be as simple as reading a book from a genre you don’t usually frequent. Show your students how to cultivate a growth mindset by modeling one yourself!
  • Remember to Ask for Help: No man is an island, and no teacher is invincible. It’s very possible that next year will be just as daunting as 2020 has been. The good news is, you’re not alone. There is a whole ecosystem of educators who are happy to lend you a hand if you ask. Reach out to them through a Twitter chat or take advantage of free resources offered by sites like Blue Apple. We’re in this together, so let us help!
Happy New Year

We hope that you are all staying healthy and safe this holiday season. As we prepare to ring in the new year, let’s remember to take a moment and reflect on all the accomplishments we’ve made in 2020. More than once this year, teachers were confronted with the impossible. Yet we still found ways to build classrooms where curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking thrived. Next year, let’s resolve to be even better!

We hope you are all staying healthy and safe during this difficult time. For more free educational resources, or ideas on how to promote healthy Social-Emotional Learning, simply follow this link!

*Image courtesy of Ondrejk via wikimedia commons.