It's that time again for yearly traditions of resolutions and reflections to help you refresh your teaching strategies and crowd control the classroom effectively.
What if, this year, instead of trying to be a 'better' you with restrictive ways of harnessing self-control, you were just, well, you.
Make 2019 a happier, calmer and more satisfying year by saying goodbye to 'new year, new you' and get inspired by revolutionising your teaching habits for the upcoming school year.
The not-so-new you starts here...!
1. Plan a positive start
Whilst the new year is all about positive starts, often in the run-up before winter break, students can slip into bad habits. Starting the year with a gentle reminder of expected classroom behaviour and rules can get the students back on track. Rewarding good behaviour will help to keep students motivated and respectful of your routines. Starting the year on a positive note will help to keep the classroom a happy place for you and your students in the long stretch to summer.
2. Build fitness into your lesson plan
It couldn't possibly be a new year without any mention of better health and fitness, could it! Work-life balance is one mean feat as a teacher but helping to build gentle exercise into your curriculum can help beat two birds with one stone. Introducing day-to-day activities to help encourage students to move and take care of their bodies will also act as a reminder for you too as well. Integrating healthy eating lessons into your lessons can also help encourage a healthier attitude in the classroom.
3. Spice up your lesson plans
Whilst sticking to the standard curriculum for your classroom, it's important to keep your lessons fresh and innovative for not only the students but for you too! Nothing builds boredom, disengagement and procrastination better than the same old routine and same old lesson plan. Make it your mission to introduce one new technique, skill or idea to your students each month to help challenge them in their learning. Assigning a student to suggest a different idea each will keep the whole class - and yourself - accountable for sticking to the resolution!
4. Get students empowered + involved
Students often return in January with new intentions for a better year so new study skills and better grades may be on the radar. Take advantage of new year positivity and help students find new and effective study habits whilst they're most receptive. Giving students a greater sense of control over their learning and activities empowers them to succeed. Taking ownership of their education gives them the confidence to recognise their talent and abilities in a positive way.
5. Don't let school policies pull you down
School admin, faculty meetings, impromptu inspections and government school policies are among some of the things that we can't single-handedly control ourselves. By accepting this and channelling your frustrations through healthy habits as suggested by TeachFit leader Kirsty Raynor, such policies won't sour your attitude and mood in the classroom.
6. Dress to impress yourself
Don't underestimate the power of feeling good in yourself and confident in the clothes you wear. Adding a few new pieces or combinations to your school wardrobe will inevitably help boost your mood and start your school morning on a slightly brighter note.
7. Work smarter, not harder
Getting ahead doesn't mean chugging several cups of coffee and getting your head down to plough through your stacks of grading. Why not get smart with your breaks during the school day and whip through some marking and admin when you can. By doing small segments of work little and often throughout the day can help lighten the load you take home with you at the end of the school day.
8. Give your students your time
It's standard protocol to organise formal teacher-student one-to-ones but often, such settings and meetings can make students feel nervous, anxious and under pressure. These formal spaces may inhibit some students from voicing their true thoughts and feelings. Why not integrate a rotation in your classroom schedule where a different student will help you with everyday tasks. This informal interaction will allow you to check in with your students to find out how they're doing and if they have any current issues to voice. This is also helpful for students who may be more reserved or introverted during class.
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With a background in social media management and editorial writing for jewellery and gemological education, Sarah is the Digital Marketing Executive at Opogo.
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