A new year gives us a clean slate to work on. Each new year, I try to make some resolutions for my personal life, and some for my professional life. I thought that it may be interesting for other TEFL teachers to read about some possible New Year’s Resolutions that align with our jobs.
For me, it often seems, that by the end of the year I feel burnt out and exhausted. As though all 12 months have just collapsed on me and I can’t get up. Of course, with a nice break for the holidays, I am usually able to stir up my energies for the upcoming year and feel refreshed on that first day of classes.
Here’s a list of some possible New Year’s Resolutions that you may want to bring in to your life in 2019:
This is such a crucial thing to be mindful of. It is so easy to fall into the trap of work taking over your life. This never ends well. It’s important to set boundaries for yourself. As teachers, it may seem that we’re always working. Even though we’re off the clock, we still have papers and quizzes to grade, absences to fill in, prepping to do…and boy do we know, this takes up a lot of time! However, we need to stop at a certain point. Create time during your day to exercise, to cook nourishing food, to spend time with loved ones. Furthermore, try to do all of these things without thinking about work!
I don’t know about anyone else, but I know that by December 21, 2018, it looked like a tornado hit my desk. I mean, papers,
Again, during busy times, a little disorganized can be inevitable, however, when it gets this bad, I can see a decline in my focus and teaching skills. So, it’s nice starting a new year with the resolution of being more organized. Have everything labeled. Get yourself a filing cabinet and sort each of your classes in respective drawers. Keep a test file. A pencil case or box will help your desk area stay neat. Furthermore, get your laptop organized. Instead of having files all over your desktop, create folders for specific classes and levels. This will make your life so much easier for the upcoming months.
Jazz Up Your Classroom!
Get rid of those ugly posters hanging up from 2003, take down the withered decorations you put up at the start of last year and give yourself a new, fresh classroom! If you like the way your classroom looks, you will feel happier, more comfortable and more productive in it. When you walk into a room that has no real curb appeal, it can bring us down. So, this year, make a resolution to have the best decorated classroom in the school! All the students will want to be in that classroom and all the other teachers will follow your lead!
This is your chance to get really creative. What makes you happy? What will bring some life to the classroom? What makes your students happy? Bring all of these things into mind. In fact, it’s great when you get your students involved. Ask their opinions and let them help you. This will buiild rapport between you and them, and it will get your classroom looking spiffy in no time.
Last, but not least…Stay Positive!
This one is very difficult sometimes, but it will make such a difference in both your professional and personal life. Staying positive doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have a fake smile on your face at all times. No, not at all. Staying positive means that in every situation you find some good about it. In life, we can’t control what happens in a day, but we do have the power to control the way we react to it.
When something goes bad, it’s really easy to shut down and deem the rest of the day no good, but what good does that do us? None. So when something goes wrong, (which things do all the time), take a deep breath (or 3), and figure out the most positive, most mature way to respond to the situation.
Students can be harsh at times, administration can be difficult to deal with, we all have families and loved ones that we think about all day, but at the end of the day, we are teachers because we love to teach, so on the taught days, try to remind yourself why you started this job in the first place.
If you’re a teacher and have any other ideas for New Year’s Resolutions please feel free to comment below and let us know what they are!
Also, Happy New Year, Teachers!