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Getting started with a New Year


I like to treat a new semester like a brand new school year. It’s a fresh start for you and your students, a chance to do better. To improve, and hopefully not make the same mistakes. It’s a chance to get back on track. Here’s what I’m trying out this semester.

  • Select a theme for the semester, or choose to stick with the theme from the first half of the year, but make improvements, what was working, what isn’t, and how can I adjust? Themes help to keep me focused and re-inspired from year to year, here are some that I’ve done. For this year I’m selecting the theme communication
    • Some past themes: empathy, female artists, environment
  • I want to do more planning ahead, I feel like I’ve gotten into the habit of writing lessons one or two days before they need to be completed. This always makes me feel rushed, and takes away the enjoyment that I usually find in planning. This means that I need to be more intentional about scheduling big chunks of planning time.
  • Each year that I teach, I find myself frustrated that students don’t seem to know how to set goals. So instead of being frustrated goal setting + backward planning is going to be part of my classroom.
  • Along the same lines of teaching goal planning, I find that get annoyed with students asking for last minute recommendations letters, and or the manner in which they ask for them. As I reflected, I’ve realized that we never really teach students how to ask for a recommendation letter, or what we need from them, so I’m going to go over the steps with my students and also share the information with their parents.
  • While my students take photos of all of their work, I’m not great at saving them for future years as examples for other students or teachers like yourself. So I’m going to be more intentional about saving photos of really great pieces. And part of a way of keeping myself accountable will be sharing them with you.
  • Do better at asking for help and accepting help. I have gotten much better at this over the years, but it’s one that I think I still need to remind myself about.