Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful and relaxing holiday break. With the New Year comes a chance to set intentions and make changes. But before we decide on New Year's resolutions, it can be helpful to take a moment to reflect. What exactly would be the most helpful thing to work on in 2013?
There may be many changes you'd like to make: maybe you'd like to start using a new math curriculum, send home a weekly newsletter, revamp your reading program, send home differentiated homework packets, rearrange the tables in your classroom… your wish list probably goes on and on. But you can't do everything, at least not all at once.
The key to effective New Year's resolutions is picking something manageable. Remember how you were feeling in December. Was there something that was bothering you? An area where you thought you could improve?
Sometimes we get so carried away with all of our exciting ideas for improving our classrooms that we forget that our classrooms aren't just our classrooms. In this video, we see how Sarah Brown Wessling uses student feedback to inform her practice.
When you get back from break, consider holding a class meeting and asking your students to reflect on what has and has not worked well so far this school year. Ask them for ideas on how to focus your energies for the rest of the year. Collectively making New Year's resolutions can be a great way to focus and inspire your class.
After you've decided on a goal for 2013, write it down. In this video, middle school ELA teacher Julie Manley uses a reflection strategy called "Be Sure To." Think about writing a "Be Sure To" statement for your 2013 goal and post it by your desk or write it in your plan book.
As the year goes on, try to make time to check in with your progress towards your goal and modify your plans as needed. Follow this mantra: focus, adjust, focus, adjust. Remember to celebrate your efforts and progress!
I'm excited to hear about the new and amazing things that you achieve this year! What is your "Be Sure To" for 2013?