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It's Time to Set Resolutions & Goals for the New School Year

Updated: Aug 4


Each year, we educators enter their classrooms more experienced than the year before. We’ve learned, we’ve adapted, we’ve innovated, and we’re ready for the year to come. Whether you realize it or not, we often set resolutions and goals for the New School Year as if it were New Year’s Eve. If you don’t formally do this practice, there’s no day like today to put ink to paper and create a reminder of this elevated intention and emotion as you walk into the classroom for the first time this school year.


Here are some suggestions:


#1 - Formative Assessments for Yourself

Create yourself a bullet journal where you exit-ticket yourself each day. A 5-minute ritual at the end of the day will help you to assess, decompress, and reflect on the achievements of the day, as well as changes that might be in line for the next. Use the 3-2-1 system: 3 things that went well or made you proud, 2 things that could be improved or that you didn’t realize, and 1 question you have for yourself or the next time you teach that day’s lessons.


At the end of the school year, you’ll have a tracked record of each day’s successes and improvements that may be needed for the next semester or school year.


#2 - Rethink Homework

Homework for students creates busy work for you unless you have a solid way to grade quickly put into place. Instead, rethink giving homework. It’s okay not to, or to make a policy that says whatever work they don’t finish in class will be the homework for that day. If you must assign homework due to school regulations, then let them read or explore something related to your subject area and give a quick oral summary the next day in their groups.


Be sure that the homework assigned has a definitive purpose for all students, or differentiate the assignments to give a sense of autonomy and personalized education.


#3 - Embrace AI

It’s here. We knew it was coming. ChatGPT, Bard, and other AI platforms are here to stay, but they don’t have to be a threat. The easiest way to get kids to do something is to tell them not to do it, so instead, choose to embrace AI.


Use ChatGPT, watch videos about it, and figure out how it can be of use in your classroom. Teach your students how to use it as a tool and what its limitations are. Finally, you must have students actively write in your classroom so you can get to know their tone, voice, and style. This way, they won’t be able to toss an AI-created paper into your pile without you spotting the difference. AI won’t take over future jobs, but the people who know how to operate it will. Be on the forefront this school year.


#4 - Reinvent a Project

Think over what went well last year and where your students laughed and smiled the most. What made those moments or lessons work so well? Identify the strength and then figure out how to incorporate more of that into your everyday style. Thinking outside the box is a strength - teach your students this tool and have them suggest additions or innovations to your standard projects as well.


#5 - Spruce Up Your Space with Plants

It may seem silly, but plants in your classroom bring life to a drab space. They also create oxygen for those growing lungs and can keep the air fresh. Plus, it can create a sense of ownership for the classroom in your students. By assigning students plants to water or having them keep an eye on the growth, you’ll foster a sense of responsibility they may have never had before. Even air ferns and succulents liven up a space…and they don’t die easily!


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