When you’re a teacher, you get two new year celebrations—January 1 and the first day of school. That means double the resolutions and double the fresh starts. The first day of school is more freshly sharpened pencils and never-written-in notebooks than confetti and champagne toasts (though we’d take the smell of a new box of unused crayons over confetti any day). It’s also a great time to set goals that can take you from September all the way through June. Here are 10 teacher goals that are totally doable in one school year:
1. Make or be a teacher BFF.
The classroom can be a lonely place to work, which is why we need our teacher BFFs. Commit to making a BFF by being a mentor to a new teacher or building a teacher friendship that you started last year. Not sure how to start? Here’s how to be one.
2. Get organized.
Choose one thing to organize at the start of the year and keep it up for 10 months! Try Google calendar to manage your time. Create a new system for filing projects and student work. Or, Marie Kondo your teacher space. The goal is not to have an Instagram-worthy room; it’s to free up your time for other, better things!
3. Learn one new piece of technology.
Starting something new with technology can feel like doing all the things. So, rather than mastering all the gadgets that your district has to offer, choose one piece of tech to get really right. For me this year, it will be setting up individualized centers on Chromebooks for my students. I’m also going to use these ideas for using one-on-one technology in the classroom.
4. Get a project funded.
7 Tips for Setting up a Successful Project on DonorsChoose.org
Bringing money into your classroom in the form of a DonorsChoose project, an Adopt a Classroom application, or another teacher grant is doable. If you have a project that you’re passionate about, put it out there!
5. Share your teaching with the world.
Teachers, We Need to Do Our Own PR to Advocate for Ourselves & Our Kids
Choose one social media site to master this year. Share snapshots and musings from your year of teaching on Instagram. Follow teachers you admire and get your own following on Twitter. Or, check out how to do teacher PD via social media.
6. Keep work at work.
Teaching is notorious for spilling over into evenings, weekends, and summer vacation. Take back your after-hours time by turning off email updates on your phone on the weekends, putting up away messages during school breaks, and resisting the urge to check your online school portals during off hours. Whatever it is can wait until you get back to school in the morning. Or, if you like to get ahead of the week, set an hour each weekend to preview the week and catch up on emails, but turn off that computer when time is up!
7. Start a read-aloud routine.
Doesn’t matter what you teach or who, even high schoolers, reading a book aloud can build content knowledge and connection for your students. Check out ways to engage kids in 4th grade and up in read aloud or take your read aloud to the next level.
8. Track your successes.
It’s going to be a great year! Don’t look back in June without the data to prove it. Figure out what you want to track—student reading progress, the number of books your kindergarteners read, or stories about how your students were kind to each other. Then, set a way to track it in September so you can relay your success in June.
9. Build one self-care ritual into your day.
30 Ways to Bring More Mindfulness and Self-Care to Your Classroom
Teacher self-care is a must. Take time during the day to sit and eat lunch, take a walk, or meditate for a few minutes. Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s reenergizing.
10. Do one Pinterest-y thing each month.
If you like to build in crafts and creativity each month, take inspiration from our creative classroom lists and tackle one project each month.
Come share your teacher goals in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, my back-to-school resolutions.