Spotlight: Two New Year’s Resolutions for Each Month
- I will keep my hands, feet, and other objects to myself when non-teachers tell me how to run my classroom; instead I will learn one new teaching technique between now and the end of the year and ask students what they think of it.
- I will not think of Freedom as freedom from; instead I will embrace freedom as freedom to: grow in my profession, have fun with kids, give the administrators what they want and my students what they need.
- I will stop pretending that a Frappuccino is a good source of energy for a day’s work; instead, I will pack an incredible mid-morning snack full of proteins and fats to make me ALIVE for the next 6 hours.
- I will try not to give a good imitation of a hibernating bear in tedious faculty meetings; instead, I will proactively offer to lead growth conversations that will be useful, thoughtful, and may actually improve our collective teaching.
- I will avoid looking too gleeful on Friday afternoon; instead, I will spend Sunday evening thinking one good thing about each student I teach on Monday.
- I will not start down the countdown to the end of the year by writing the number of days on my board; instead I will talk to every student I teach at least once a week for more than 10 seconds about something other than their grades.
- I will not pretend to myself that everything is going well when it isn’t; instead, I will keep my promise from two years ago to sleep 8 hours a night to boost my immune system, brighten up my mind, and make me less grouchy.
- I will not forget why I became a teacher; instead, I will sit down with a colleague and a glass of wine and reminisce about the students whose lives we changed.
- I will not forget that another teacher did something good for me today; instead, I will keep a stack of thank you cards on my desk and ensure that I give one out every week.
- I will not allow this month to be one of chaos and overwork; instead, I will make a list of things that I will not do to balance the extra things I have to do.
- I will not have more than one resolution for each summer month; that resolution will include relaxing and expanding my heart
- I will not stay indoors; instead, I will increase the Vitamin D in my body and support my entire skin structure by going for long walks or spend time in the garden or something else sunny.
- I will thank my administrator for making the tough decisions including letting the teacher go who was wonderful personally but not good for students professionally.
- I know I shouldn’t give up on students in the first four weeks; instead, I will remember that they have up and down times, and that I have the ability to help them find their genius in my classroom.
- When I listen to all my colleagues telling me what they did over the summer, I shouldn’t be talking over them telling them what I did; instead, I vow to spend this year really listening intently and waiting to speak until the other person is finished.
- I will not throw pencil sharpeners, rulers, or other objects at administrators who say “rigorous”, “differentiate”, “growth mindset”, and other well-used phrases; instead, I will invent my own list and inflict it on everyone around me.
- I will not allow my school’s grading system of A+, A, A-, B+ etc. destroy my children’s love of learning; instead I will always believe my students are on a learning journey.
- I will not ignore the reality that not all children are equally adorable; instead, I will appreciate the student who talks incessantly, the child who is tough to please, the student who is not like me, and the child who is invisible, amongst others.
- I will not be irritated with colleagues who are too busy to talk about learning; instead I will give thanks for every colleague who I can sit with and think aloud together.
- I know that my students (and everyone else’s) are taking tests and exams and quizzes and quests and that’s our focus; I will balance it by ensuring that everyone of my classes has the opportunity to celebrate in this month of festivals.
- Of course, I have no more bad habits; just in case I have maybe one, I will put it into my resolutions for next year.