January is the time of year for setting goals and planning for the future. It’s also the time of year when it can be hard to drum up some excitement for the learning opportunities ahead. Blustery weather, overcast days and early nights when everyone is cooped up inside can quell even the most spirited among us. The thrill of the beginning of school seems long gone and the anticipation of the end of the school year seems far, far away in the future.
What can we do to get off to a great start and create the conditions necessary for a great school year? There’s a lot!
Five Strategies for a Magical and Intentional Year
- Set an intention–Not to get all woo-woo on you here but this is a useful technique for whatever you are doing that is new. Athletes, entertainers and CEO’s use this technique successfully to create optimum performance. It can work equally well for educators.
- Begin with the end in mind. Picture or visualize how you want your classroom to be as we move into 2016. The tendency is to be so busy doing (managing student behavior, putting up bulletin boards, making lessons plans) that we expend all of our energy and don’t take the time to be. Imagine how you want the room to feel; excited, enthusiastic, focused, curious, etc.
- Revisit your teaching method–Look at your materials and curriculum with a renewed fresh look. Imagine that you are seeing it for the first time. How will you engage students, pique their curiosity, personalize the message? Make sure the classroom environment reflects your new vision.
- Stay positive–it is really easy to let the negative drag you down. There are always too many things to do, too many students to adequately serve, too few resources, too many meetings to attend and not enough time. Reserve judgement. Expect the unexpected and see it as a learning experience. Choose to be a positivity role model for your students and you will find your enthusiasm is contagious.
- Focus on and process the experience as much as the material. It’s easy to bemoan the fact that it’s hard to teach or counsel students because of all the extenuating factors in their lives. Instead view those circumstances as teachable moments. Sometimes the biggest lesson you can teach is how to handle disappointment and adversity.
- Take care of yourself–there will never be enough time to do it all. One reason you became an educator was because of your creative, heart-centered giving spirit. Make sure sure that you direct that energy toward yourself as well as the students you serve. When you take care of yourself, you are modeling for students how they can take care of themselves and that is an invaluable lesson.
By following a plan, you will be able to not only meet the expectations of parents and students, but also to enjoy the fruits of your efforts.
Grab ‘N Go Lesson Plan for Busy Educators:
Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Winning
Wyatt the Wonder Dog didn’t make it on the All Star baseball team and he feels like a loser. All his friends will be playing baseball this summer, while he and his pesky sister, Callie, visit grandparents at the beach. How Wyatt learns to handle disappointment and failure will be an important lesson for the future. Will he give up trying new things? Will he have the confidence to try again? Are there some things that take more practice and persistence to learn than others?
Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Winning (Wyatt the Wonder Dog Books) (Volume 5)