NEA Member Benefits strives to make teachers’ lives better with tips on taxes, ways to save money, wellness advice, and more.
Show of hands: Who made a 2018 resolution and is still sticking with it?
It turns out, a good deal of teachers have committed to something this year and are still rolling confidently with their plans (high-fives!). We found their goals inspiring, giving us the charge we really need to keep going. Here’s the breakdown—a handy, dandy list of the top teacher resolutions for finances and taxes, wellness, teaching, and work/life balance. Here we go.
ON SAVING MONEY AND DOING TAXES:
- “Cutting back on drive-thru coffee. I love Starbucks, but I’m saving so much money already by making it at home. No way could I cut out coffee altogether … I’m a teacher!” —Amber B.
- “Each time I get paid I take the money I’ve budgeted for fun—movies, take out meals, going out—and take it out of the bank in cash and put it in an envelope. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Until the next paycheck!”—Eliane C.
- “Doing my taxes early! And making sure I know all of the tax deductions available to me.” —Cassandra
We also heard many say that they were resolving to: pay off debts, build an emergency fund, and reduce monthly bills. We definitely hear you on that last one! The key is to make a budget you can live with.
ON PROFESSIONAL GOALS:
- “Finish grad school! And to finish all the books that I’m still reading, according to my Goodreads account.” —Amy J.
- “Increase my PD hours.” —Beatriz J.
- “Staying caught up on my grading and lesson planning.” —Ginny R.
- “Learn more about the ever-advancing tools that we have at our disposal and incorporate them into the classroom in a meaningful way.” —Ashley W.
- “Have students writing in all subject areas, as much as possible!” —Anonymous
- “Collaborate more with my colleagues. Teamwork makes the dream work.” —Jankowski
- “Be more positive about guided reading. I’m trying to go into it with a more positive mindset and finding interesting and fun activities for the kids.” —Monica M.
Sometimes, teachers just need to beat the winter blues. Spring will be here soon. In the meantime, try these fun tips to keep you feeling your best and those chugging along on those resolutions.
- “Working out every other day. Still going pretty well!” —Leah M.
- “Made a pact with one of my kiddos to drink water. Neither of us like it.” —Sharon N.
- “Improving my cooking skills! Making dinner every weeknight and taking over the grocery shopping (to cut my bills in half!) I’ve also cut back on our food waste by being more aware of what we need and what we will use.” —Rebecca B.
- “To keep a consistent journal. I’ve wanted to do this for a few years and have remained committed this year so far.” —Alissa S.
- “Taking better care of me.” —Kalli W.
- “Drink 90 ounces of water daily and walk three times a week!” —Dani S.
Finding time for the gym is so key. We also love the idea of healthy teacher lunches. And trying to cut back on junk food cravings. But let’s be honest: That emergency snack drawer gets us through the day.
ON WORK/LIFE BALANCE:
- “I’m a fifth-year teacher and have struggled pretty heavily with work-life balance. This year, I resolved to start putting more effort, oomph, and excitement into my lesson activities. First-year energy, half the work!” —Jordyn G.
- “‘Take care of yourself first. Work is not your top priority.’ This is the reminder I put in my planner every week, to remind myself that I’m a human being first, teacher second.” —Rachel K.
- “Ask for help and recharge when I need it.” —Dani S.
- “Being intentional. In building and growing relationships, activities I plan and seeking help and support.” —Rose L.
- “Bring more balance to my life. To be able to spend more time with my family and friends, without feeling guilty or that I’m taking away time and resources from my students.” —Ellen P.
- “Make sure I’m more present. Even though being a teacher is stressful, I plan to take deep breaths, laugh, and enjoy my job—because I have the best job in the world.” —Enaka
Work-life balance is one of the hardest goals for all of us. It’s all about setting boundaries. But you don’t have to choose between being a good parent and being a good teacher. Let go of the guilt.