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Resolved: Make More Lists

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My resolution for 2006 is to make more lists. I meant to buy a new notebook at the store today, so I could write down things I need to do, but I forgot. If only I had written it down …

I’ve spent the day thinking about resolutions for teachers. I’ve made a list on a scrap of paper. Here are my contributions for your consideration. If you like this list, feel free to adopt it as your own. That will save you some time having to make up resolutions for yourself.

Teacher Resolution List

1. Write things down. Carry a small notebook at all times and write down things you need to remember – the parent who needs a call, the student who needs a copy of some missed work, the question another teacher asked that you couldn’t answer at the time. Get in the habit of reading the notebook every morning when you arrive at school and every evening when you leave. Check off things that are done – it will feel so good!

2. Use technology to its maximum advantage. Learn new tools and techniques. Take digital pictures, use email to contact parents, download videos for instruction. Surf the Web - read Teacher Blogs for inspiration and ideas!

3. Grade less, assess more. I resolve to assess students daily – by a variety of methods – to measure their progress. I can use observation, verbal assessment, review games, quick-writes, partner work, or even quizzes. If I know the students are progressing, I don’t have to grade so much. Taking home less paper to grade is good.

4. Plan down time. Schedule it on the calendar. Write down if Tuesday is a “take work home night”, but also write down if Wednesday is “go to the gym for a long workout and sauna night”. That way Wednesday stays as important as Tuesday.

5. Be positive. I don’t mean with the students – we are positive if we’re good teachers. I mean with other teachers, staff, administration – and yourself. Think about success, check off items on your list, pat yourself and other teachers on the back. Give someone a card, send a happy email with a cc to the principal, volunteer for a new school program. Positive means happy. Happy teachers are strong teachers.

There. Now that’s done. I’ve made resolutions for myself and for anyone else who wants the list. I’m checking this task off on my list. Where is that list? Wish I had a little notebook …

Happy New Year to All!

8 Comments

Thanks for the great info. I too am a career changer and this is my 2nd year as a high school special education teacher (all subjects). Sometimes it's overwhelming with the amount of planning, paperwork, IEP's, parent contact and being available for the students before and after school. I'm a huge list fan, but somehow didn't get it organized at school. This info is not only helpful, but something that I can and will actually do. Thanks again and to a great and happy new year.
ENJOY!!! :)

I think your resolutions are well thought out. Your ideas would be helpful to any teacher,both the veterans and newbies! Thanks for sharing.

Happy New Year, Hanne and everyone else! I love your resolutions and ideas. I just want to add one of my own: take time for yourself. Even if it's five minutes alone, thinking about nothing! We all need a little de-compress time and I am determined to have that time every day possible this year.

Thank you Hanne. What a timely reminder to make 'new beginnings' for all New Zealand and Australian teachers who are on their long summer holiday and beginning to think about starting the new school year in February. We all need space to just 'be ourselves' and give to ourselves. Teaching is an exhausting but exhilarating career, where we continually cater to the needs of others. Now... where is my notebook!

Hi Hanne. I, too, am a career changer (so to speak)who will be going into elementary education approximately two years from now when I obtain my teaching certificate. I will be 45 years old when this goal is finally met. It's nice to hear of others such as myself and I very much agree with you that we should create a type of support system for each other. Hope to hear more good advice and tips from you in the future.

Well done...I really liked your comments re test less and assess more...having students focus on self assessment related to specific criteria for performance is working smarter not harder....

interesting comments!
You sound like a good teacher because you sound passionate.
I have taught 17 yrs and still love it!
Ninth graders & they are the toughest grade at the h.school!
May I suggest you consider including tips to others on remember to laugh WITH the kids & adults because many do nutty things, reinforce good ethics whenever possible through discussions,etc. and CONNECT with the kids emotionally and discipline problems will lessen,kids will learn & even volunteer help,ALL kinds of doors will open! Many of our kids think teachers are on the other side! Ask about their soccer game or their Mom in the hospital (one-on-one so as not to embarass, of course) and you'll have the kids eating out of your hand-we ALL love recognition!
Carole :)

Shouldn't we make these resolutions in September?

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  • walter: Shouldn't we make these resolutions in September? read more
  • Carole: interesting comments! You sound like a good teacher because you read more
  • Tom Conner: Well done...I really liked your comments re test less and read more
  • Angela Warbington: Hi Hanne. I, too, am a career changer (so to read more
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