The ball dropped. The calendar turned. You’re headed back to the classroom after a much-needed extended break. Which means it’s also the time of year when most of us vow to do more, eat less, and, overall, be better humans.
Maybe you’ve already established your focus for this new year, new you. But if you haven’t, or you’re still considering, allow us to provide a few suggestions. We dig stretch goals and lofty promises, but perhaps focus on one or two and knock ’em out of the park.
1. Choose a single word as your compass for the year.
Pick something that sets your intention for the year. You’ll find it recurring in all facets of your life. Priority, grace, positivity, joy, purpose, discipline . . . whatever you feel compelled to focus on, do so. You’ll be able to center in, create a vision, and authentically guide your daily work and life.
2. Give yourself some credit.
We know you’re killing it. Trust us. You show up early. You stay late. You coach, mentor, and advise. You purchase even the most basic supplies and those special extras for your students with money from your own pocket. From recess to robotics club to grading, you’re attentive, considerate, and encouraging. You’re doing so many things right. Take a second to recognize you are doing your best. And that’s more than enough.
3. Make self-care a priority.
Just because the holiday break has ended doesn’t mean your well-being has to suffer. Don’t shelve your sleep, hobby, fitness routine, or indulgences. Your students need the best you possible. And research shows self-care helps you be just that. Happy teachers, happy students, happy life – right?
4. Make PD meaningful.
The dreaded professional development doesn’t have to be a drag. We know educators are naturally lifelong learners. As possible, tailor your professional development opportunities to your passions or your career goals. Advancement can happen largely because of equal parts preparation and availability/opportunity. And if you happen to be stuck in a few mandatory sessions, make it a goal to leave with one truly actionable takeaway.
5. Bring your own sunshine.
As clichéd as it might sound, a positive attitude can make all the difference. The daily grind might actually be easier with a little positivity. If you earnestly look for the bright side, it’s easier to avoid or cease negativity. And it’s hard to worry if you’re filled with optimism. Practice your own positive affirmations and see the difference.
Now, go forth and tackle this new year. We’re confident it’s going to be great!
Have your own resolutions? Comment below. We’d love to hear what your 2018 has in store.