By: Kendall Hunt
A new year is in full swing. It’s never too late to adopt some New Year’s resolutions!
1. Work Smarter, Not Harder
It seems like all too often we spend our time at work and at home doing the same tasks over and over again. The other culprit? Distraction. Whether it’s your teacher friends who love to pop into your room and chat or the urge to check your smartphone too much, it seems like there is always something.
Be efficient. Make better use of the time you have by closing your door, cranking up some music or a good podcast (or shutting out all the noise if that’s what you prefer) and put your phone in your desk drawer for some much-needed focus. You’d be surprised what you can get done in a short amount of time. For those of you with kids of your own, you’ll know how productive you can be in just a 45-minute nap. You have it in you!
Want to avoid repeating some of the same tasks? Try different organizational hacks to see what works best for you. You may find something that works better than a system you have now. In cases like these, it’s always helpful to ask other educators how they organize things too.
2. Take a deep breath when it comes to school and administration policies.
These come with the job, and for obvious reasons, are no one’s favorite part. However, they aren’t going anywhere and are necessary just like with any employer or workplace. Take a deep breath, brush off the frustration when it comes and move on. If the issue is something that you feel passionate about changing, take up the cause and stay cool, calm, collected and professional when bringing your concerns to the administration.
3. Avoid slumps
Steer clear of the dreaded autopilot! Set goals for yourself to hit throughout the semester. These can be goals for your class, goals for individual students you have been working with, or simply goals for yourself. Write them in your planner, and set some reminders in your phone to stay on track. You may find that they will keep you motivated as you move through the second half of the school year.
4. Build wellness into your day with your students
Every year, the top New Year’s resolution across the country has to do with wellness. “I want to lose weight.” “I want to go to the gym more.” “I want to eat healthier.” Who says wellness initiatives can’t be things you do in your classroom in a positive way?
Keep your students active. Not only is it great for their health to get up and move, but it can burn off some energy between recesses. Utilize games that get your kids up and moving while also learning. These can be great for reviewing content before an upcoming assessment.
5. Strive for work-life balance
We know this may seem like a long shot. Teachers work long hours and are SO dedicated! Focus on the tips in No. 1 to strive for a work-life balance that allows you time to recoup after your days in the classroom. If you’re able to unplug and decompress with some family time, a long bubble bath or a movie, you’ll be much more energized the next day.
No matter what, keep things simple and know that even one small change can make a big difference. Happy 2019!