It’s that time of year when everybody starts making New Year’s resolutions: eat healthier, exercise more, read more books, give up chocolate – the usual things that, for some, last a couple of weeks then go out the window. Resolutions can be difficult to stick to however, if you set yourself achievable goals, they can provide a great opportunity to make some changes that could really improve your practice, wellbeing, and work/life balance. Here are some teacher resolutions for the upcoming term:
See this as a fresh start
Autumn term is always a challenge. You’ve got new pupils to get to know, baseline assessments to be completed, long parents’ evenings, frequent data entry, and all alongside the inevitable coughs and colds that come hand-in-hand with the colder weather. But you made it to the end of term (well done!) and now is the time to wipe the slate clean and look forward to the new term ahead. Forget about any negative things that may have happened in Autumn term and start again. Make sure your classroom is well-organised and your mind is well-rested, and you will be off to a great start.
Reflect on last term
Think about your successes and challenges from the previous term. What are you particularly proud of? What could have gone better? Using this chance to reflect will allow you to think about how you can improve your practice. What would you like to achieve in Spring term? Are there any opportunities for CPD or career progression? Now is the time to set the ball rolling.
Make time for yourself
It is so easy to get swept up in the demands of school life and forget about fitting in some much needed ‘me time’ during the working week. Now that you have had the Christmas break to at least have a bit of a rest from school, make sure that you allocate some time each week to recharge. Burnout is common amongst teachers, and even the smallest act of self-care can have a huge impact on your mental health.
Upon your return to work, it is a good idea to try and implement some teaching ‘hacks’ to make your life easier. Peer assessment, asking the children to leave their books open for marking, live marking during the lesson, allocating jobs to the pupils – all these things may seem simple, but when you are using a few of these time-saving tips consistently, it does make a difference.
Support a colleague
As well as taking the time to look after yourself, you might want to make it a resolution to support a colleague. Maybe check in on an ECT or a staff member who was new to the school this year. Teaching is full of challenges and, although it is important to maintain your own wellbeing, it is also essential to work as a team and offer support to those who may be struggling. In turn, they will be there for you when you need them.
Find the positives
When it all seems too much, remember the many reasons why you do this job. Think about the young lives that you are having such a positive impact on. Think about a great lesson that you and your class shared, or a way in which you impacted the school. Think about how you helped a pupil (or even a colleague) develop their confidence or overcome barriers. When you remember how amazing you are, you will surely find the motivation to continue to do great things. You got this!
About the author
After graduating with a BA in Communications from Bournemouth University, Emma worked in public relations and marketing before deciding to undertake a PGCE at Kingston University and begin her journey as a primary school teacher. Emma taught for 15 years in schools around London and Surrey, in a variety of roles including lead practitioner and assistant headteacher. Emma now works for Eteach as Education Partnerships Coordinator, where she can share her knowledge of the education sector and support those beginning their teaching career.