The start of the new decade usually brings with it the desire to join the parade of people with their New Year’s Resolutions. As a teacher, it may seem like a great time to implement a new lesson plan or try a new teaching style, and it is! However, it is essential to recognize what a good classroom resolution looks like and, even more importantly, how to stick with it.
There are a few common reasons that New Year’s Resolutions fall apart so quickly. One of the biggest problems with many resolutions is that they are not specific enough. It is tempting to set the goal of becoming a better teacher or connecting with more students without outlining ways in which to achieve these goals. Specificity is essential for a productive New Year’s Resolution. For instance, in addition to wanting to become a more effective teacher, set goals or steps that will help to track progress. An objective measurement, such as improved test scores, can be one way to track that progress. Subjective measures such as classroom morale and increased participation are another valid method of measuring the goal of becoming a more effective teacher. Whatever the resolution, it is crucial to be specific and set clear steps to achieve the goal. Having clear and measurable goals is essential in attaining them.
Another reason that many New Year’s Resolutions fail is that they are negatively framed. Instead of coming up with a list of things to do, many people compile a list of things not to do. It is much more useful to positively frame resolutions. For example, instead of setting the goal of minimizing student disruptions, find ways to encourage constructive student comments. By establishing positive goals rather than negative ones, it becomes easier to maintain a
positive outlook and work toward specific goals.
Resolutions also ha
ve the potential to fail because of how large and all-encompassing they are. The start of the new year does not necessarily need to bring with it a complete overhaul of habits and tactics. In fact, the new year is a great time to reflect on what is useful in the classroom. If there are areas that need to be improved, start with small tweaks and changes. It is easy to get overwhelmed by looking at the entirety of what needs to be changed. However, starting small and setting more modest goals toward progress is a great way to build toward a New Year’s resolution.
The New Year is a popular time to put new resolutions in place. As students begin to attend classes once again, it is an exciting time to implement new goals and ideas. By being smart about how and when these goals are implemented, it is possible to inspire students to set their own goals. It is important to remember that New Year’s resolutions have a higher chance of success if they are measurable, positive, and unique. But perhaps the most critical aspect of a New Year’
s resolution is determination. Implementing new goals and ideas, especially in the classroom, is hard work, and diligently pursuing a resolution is a great way to inspire students to do the same.