Bad classroom habits can sometimes feel impossible to break, but fortunately, the winter holiday serves as a reset button. As teachers head into the new year, we recommend kick-starting your energy and bringing more presence to the classroom. In this handy guide, we share 5 common-sense tips for starting the new year on the right note.
Your enthusiasm can have a huge impact on students, especially if you’re studying a challenging or dry subject. The more excitement you bring to the classroom, the more engaged your students will be. It can be hard to psych yourself up if you’re feeling burnt out after a long semester. However, it’s worth the extra effort. Bringing a positive attitude every day helps students feel safe enough to make mistakes as they learn new things.
Next, it’s crucial to have an open dialogue with students’ parents. This will allow you to share any academic or social challenges the student is facing. You’ll also be able to discover what’s happening at home, so you have more perspective on the student’s state. The more you understand a student’s family life, the more empathy you can bring to their learning process.
The new year can feel like a blank slate in both good and bad ways. Students may forget (or “forget”) key classroom rules, so you should go over them again in January. At the same time, the second semester is an opportunity to give students more responsibility. They can offer input for future lessons, host short lectures to teach fellow students, and so much more. When students know the classroom boundaries and also feel empowered to learn, it’s a potent combo.
Teaching is a hectic job, and it can be tempting to rely on fast food and cafeteria fare. As a New Year’s treat to yourself, take the time to cook healthy meals for the entire week. Meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated. Just cook enough food for a few portions and freeze the leftovers so you can heat them up anytime. This one tip will save you a ton of money, and you’ll feel a lot healthier, too.
Finally, you can use the new year as a testing ground for fresh and exciting ideas. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new teaching methods, technologies, and fun activities! Your students will appreciate the variety, even when it takes them out of their comfort zone.