It’s not really the “new year,” though, is it? When you all get back from Holiday Break, you are going to see the same kidlets that you did before, their mannerisms and smells will be the same, and your colleagues will be preparing for the long push to Spring Break.
Then there’s the “resolution” part of the New Year. We look at ourselves and our lives under a magnifying glass, and want desperately to find something that we will change. I think there are different kinds of resolutions that we make as educators, and can reflect upon as January arrives.
Never yell at students.
Get grading done within a day of it being handed in.
Give more positive feedback
Plan more than a day in advance
But how to make sure to keep these resolutions?
Teachers are famous for burning the candle at both ends, and might tend to think of themselves last, but I think the most important resolution for educators is this:
I will take care of myself. I will take time for me.
That doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone, of course. For some people, it means that exercise is a regular part of their day. For others, it means that they deliberately do not think about school after a certain point of the evening. Some people work hard all week so that they don’t have to do a thing school-related on the weekends. Some people reward themselves for accomplishing goals that they set for themselves.
No matter what “taking care of yourself” means to you, if you make it a priority, the rest of the resolutions or goals you set for yourself become more real. Your perspective is clearer, you feel better, and your students benefit from both of those things. Besides, what are we modeling if students watch us drive ourselves into the ground by not attending to our physical and mental well-being?
Your profession is a sacred responsibility, but you need to take care of yourself to fulfill that responsibility. Be well.
Have a fantastic new year.