3 Teacher Resolutions for the New Year Essay

Happy New Year!

I’ve hope you enjoyed your well deserved Christmas Break. Transitioning from the United States to Panama has left me very little time to write, but I’m resolved to get back in the swing of things. A change of scenery after 7 years in the same school has been invigorating for me professionally. I’ve had quiet a few thoughts percolating in my head, so I’d like to share them with you.

Here are my top 3 Teacher Resolutions for the New Year.

1.) To keep my students out of their seats

Awhile back I read this excellent story about a teacher who spent two days as a high schooler. I felt a fair amount of guilt about how much of it hit home.

The truth is, no matter how good the lesson, if students are sitting for an hour, they are going to get antsy. Humans aren’t robots. We aren’t supposed to be on our butts for hours on end. The Greeks had it right, and modern science proves it, the mind and body are connected.

I’m going to get them moving in some way, every day.

2.) Have fun in every class, every day

Sometimes my best lesson plans are my worst classes. This next sentence will prove my point. The sum of the perfect anticipatory set, well defined essential question, clearly stated language and content objectives, and differentiated assessment options is often a boring lesson. Did all the edutalk bore you? Passionlessly leading kids through it all will bore them too.

Not that those things don’t have their proper and important place. I’m a big believer in them all. But if you find yourself so focused on fitting every little piece of a “perfect lesson” into every class, you can forget to have fun.
Don’t lose the forest for the trees. I can promise you this, if you’re not having fun, then your kids aren’t. We got into teaching because at some level we found it fun. And most of that fun is interacting with our students. So I’m going to make it a point to relax a little more and have a little more fun every class.

3.) Make 2015 the year of why not? 

  • Present at a conference, even though I hate public speaking? Why not?!  In March I’ll be presenting about using simulations to teach history.
  • The theater director asked me to join a musical? Why not?! If I can speak in public, surely I can sing in public as “Stranger #4.”
  • Redo my entire unit on Asia? Absolutely! I’ve always underplayed the importance of the Mongols, but no more! That one is not really as exciting, but you get the idea.

Hope you enjoyed the list. Please add any others you can think off.

High School
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