Published 29th January 2019
New Year, new you, right? If you’re the kind of person to make New Year’s resolutions then you’ve probably decided to lose weight, stop smoking or read more. While we applaud you and hope that you accomplish whatever resolutions you made for yourself in your personal capacity, we’d also like you to think about making resolutions for yourself as a teacher.
As teachers, we often pick up bad habits over the year that become part of our repertoire without our noticing. These are not habits that will make or break your lessons but that will mean your lessons are not as effective as they could be. So why not think of some New Year’s resolutions for your professional self so you can start the new year on a high note? Here are a few of our favourites.
5 New Year’s Resolutions to consider
Difficult for teachers, we know, but this one change will make such a difference in your classroom. If you talk less your students will have more space to think and talk. Your classroom will become more learner-centred and your students will have more autonomy in the classroom.
Say what? Yes you heard right. You’re probably spending too much time planning. Instead, you should be planning smartly. What does that mean? Keep records of your plans so you can make use of them more than once. Just make sure you organise your plans in a way that makes sense to you so that you can find the appropriate ones easily.
The other teachers in your staff room are a wealth of information. You can save yourself a lot of time by picking their brains during your lunch hour for ideas and advice. Chances are, someone has already done the topic, language structure and level that you are planning for, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
This is a no-brainer. Being on time for your classes is the most basic form of respect for your students. You can’t expect them to be on time if you’re not. However, being on time is not good enough. You need to be early so that you can get yourself in the right frame of mind for your lessons. Being a few minutes early means you can get prepared before your learners arrive so you can greet them and chat to them for a few minutes before the lesson begins.
Getting to know your students is essential to creating a comfortable classroom environment. But it can be really hard to keep track of all your students’ interests and family members if you have 500 students! Keep a notebook and take notes of these little details for each class. You may be surprised how this can improve your relationships with your students.
This might seem simple but little things can make big changes. Take the opportunity of the new year to effect a few small changes to your teaching style and reap the benefits for the rest of the year.