Teaching is one of the few professions that can boast of having 2 New Years. For most teachers, September is the official and first "Happy New Year" of the season. Teachers return to school in the fall- rested and hopeful that this will be the year that their new behavior and organizational systems will work like magic and that somehow they will keep that summer feeling for more than a week. By November, after Open House and Parent Teacher conferences have done their damage... most of us are ready for a reboot...again!
And this is where teachers get really lucky...January is our official second "Happy New Year" of the season! How fortunate that we can stop, catch our breath and tackle the second half of the year with renewed optimism and energy. This January, I have written just a few simple resolutions that I hope to keep in 2019. Maybe... these are on your list, too!
1. I will reread my job description. Twenty years ago, it was pretty obvious. Teachers help children to learn. These days, my to-do list ranges from in-house clown/entertainer to professional room decorator to counselor of character/kindness/morals. All of these roles are fun, interesting and important, but I find that they pull me away from my intended purpose... helping individual students to learn!
I promise to help kids learn.
2. I will make real connections with my students. How busy are we when we haven't even looked up to notice that someone got a new haircut, lost a tooth or is wearing a new team jersey? I hope to look every child in the eye- everyday and have a conversation that goes beyond- "Where is your homework?" 10 minutes talking with your kids in the morning goes a long way to motivating them to work hard for you the other 6 hours and twenty minutes of the day.
I promise to build a connection with every child in my room.
3. I will make memories. I received a letter right before the holiday break from a former student that is now a middle schooler. She described some of the activities that we did in our classroom that had an impact on her-i.e. celebrating our favorite read alouds with the "Bookie Awards", singing Hippo Birdie on someone's special day and she asked about my dogs- Chip and Ollie. All of these were little things... but that is how the best memories in life are made.
I promise to remember that memories are made from the little things we do everyday!
Happy Second New Year- teacher-friends! Hope the second half is even better than the first!