5 New Year's Resolutions Just for Teachers

The start of a new year is the perfect time to make a few totally achievable, teacher-specific resolutions.

+ show tags

It happens to the best of us.

We start out fresh in August or September. We're energized, we're relaxed, and we're excited about all of the great organizational strategies we came up with over the summer. Then, suddenly it's the end of December, and all we're trying to do is wake up, get into the classroom, and contain the insanity that the holidays promote among children.

Let's use January to refresh.

Let's bring back some of that enthusiasm and take those big, bold ideas from the depths of summer to renew our classrooms in the new year.

Keep reading for New Year's resolutions for teachers, by teachers.

1. Clean Up!

If you're anything like me, you're organized, yet working in conditions of almost-chaos at the same time. Yes, I generally know where the materials I need are located, but I may have to dig through a pile of student work, intervention resources, and curriculum guides to get them.

I try to leave work on Friday afternoons with a clean desk because it helps me feel ready to begin the week when I come back in on Monday morning. One of my own personal New Year's teaching resolutions is to keep my desk and materials organized. While realistically I know this will be a challenge for me, I believe being more mindful will help!

2. Work on Your Relationships With Colleagues

This resolution is probably the hardest to keep simply because it is partially reliant on other people. Typically, I choose resolutions that are 100% self-driven, but lately, I've been thinking that perhaps these commitments would be more meaningful if they involved others.

Luckily, my school's general vibe encourages cooperation with and acceptance of others. (Other schools may not be so lucky.) The most successful work environments lack pettiness, so if you find yourself in a sticky situation with a colleague, try to rise above it. Invite them for a drink, to collaborate on a project, or buy them a coffee; small gestures can go a long way!

3. Keep Things Balanced

As you return to school refreshed and ready to go, don't lose sight of your own mental and physical health. While you may feel prepared to take on 12 hour days in the classroom, that kind of daily grind ends up taking a toll on health and relationships.

Try to make time for your friends and family, because they're the ones who will keep you sane when work gets overwhelming. Make sure to try that exercise class, join that book club, and embrace all the things that keep you happy. Happy teachers make for happy classrooms!

4. Have Fun

As you frantically work to get through 100% of your curriculum within the allotted time period, remember that the days you let social studies slide in favor of some independent reading time, group activity, or a fun craft are the days your kiddos will remember.

When I think back to my own time in fourth grade, I remember going to the school store, doing extra credit assignments, the boundless energy of my math teacher, and playing tetherball at recess. I have no idea what the standards were or what my grades on pre- and post-assessments looked like.

I remember the fun. Your kids will too.

5. Be Realistic

As beautiful and grand as New Year's resolutions tend to be, they are also easily left by the wayside. If you don't miraculously have a clean and organized desk on February 1, if you sometimes forget to prepare for that small group, if you don't do all of the things you pressure yourself to do, it'll be okay.

We all love our kids, and that driving factor truly is the most important thing.

See our New Year's Resolutions 2022 blog post here: New Year’s Resolutions for Teachers in 2022 

What are your New Year's resolutions? Share with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Want more from this author? Check out Lisa's advice on classroom seating or creating meaningful classroom rules with your students.

Author Bio:

Lisa Koplik is a fourth-grade teacher at the Greenwood School in Wakefield, Massachusetts. She loves teaching math, reading intense read-aloud books that promote complaints when she has to stop reading, and figuring out educational games to play with her students. Check out her video series on classroom management!

loading gif