At the start of the New Year we often give our ESL students activities related to New Year’s resolutions.
We ask them to think about what goals they have and what they want to achieve in the coming year. Consider the start of the new school year. Do you make new school year’s resolutions for yourself? Well, if you haven’t yet, now’s a good time to do it. Here are some suggestions for things you can resolve to do and make this the best school year ever!
Top 9 New School Year’s Resolutions for ESL Teachers
No, you don’t have a desk job where you sit for hours on end. You walk plenty around the school and the classroom. But that does not make you fit. If you haven’t already incorporated a good exercise routine into your weekly schedule, you should resolve to do so. Why? Because being a teacher is often stressful, as stressful as most jobs, and we owe it to ourselves and our students to be in tip top shape so we can give tip top lessons.
What will it take for you to get a raise, a promotion or a better teaching position? A teaching degree? TESOL certification? Webinars, seminars or courses? Think about where you are now, decide where you want to be by the end of the school year and consider your options. Are you happy where you are right now? Or do you want to be even more successful? Resolve to move forward in your career.
Change it up!
If you’ve been working and teaching in a particular way for some time, now’s the time to make some changes. Maybe your classroom needs a makeover. Maybe you’d like to use different books and materials. Perhaps start using technology in the classroom? Resolve to use a new technique, strategy, activity or game, at least once a month. That will keep your teaching fresh!
If you’re familiar with English proverbs, you know what they say about “All work and no play…” Spending all of your free time grading tests, making photocopies or designing games? Your students are so lucky to have such a dedicated teacher! But you need time for YOU, time to spend with family, friends or simply enjoying things you love. If you find yourself spending way too many weekends working, then maybe you should resolve to achieve the proverbial work-life balance.
…not harder! In order to achieve the balance mentioned above, you might want to resolve to get organized. There are phone apps that will do wonders for your productivity. Why spend hours creating a board game from scratch when you can download and print one for free? Why take the time to scour the Internet for suggestions for activities when you can ask colleagues for recommendations? Resolving to implement these shortcuts will not make you a lazy teacher – it’ll make you a smarter one.
Take it in stride!
Are you fighting a school system that dates back to the Dark Ages? Does your school lack the funds to invest in new equipment? Low salary got you down? First, remember why you are teaching: it’s your calling; it’s what you love to do, right? Next, forget about the negatives and resolve to focus on the positives. So you don’t have new computers…what do you have? It’s amazing what you can do with a box of scrap materials.
Do you know what your students want? Not what the school wants, or their parents want or the coursebook wants? You might want to resolve to find out. Why are they learning English? Do they want to? Does their company want them to? What challenges or difficulties are they facing? Find out!
Cheer them on!
We are so much more than ESL teachers. We are our students’ cheerleaders! Part of our job is to tell them they can learn English, they can speak it – they can do it! Resolve to empower, encourage and motivate them on a daily basis, and soon enough you’ll see the results. And so will they!
Make a difference
Teaching is rewarding because we make a difference. We teach students to do things they could not do before. But sometimes we lose sight of this. Resolve to help your students achieve their language learning goals. And you will surely achieve your own!
You might be thinking, “Nobody actually keeps their New Year’s resolutions – what’s the point?”
Of course, nobody is forcing you to do the things you “resolve” to do. The point is that making New Year’s resolutions is an exercise – an exercise that helps you take stock of what you’ve accomplished so far, what you’d like to change and where you’d like be in the future.
What are your personal resolutions for the new school year? I’d love to hear them!