Countdown to a New School Year

 On a scale of 1-10, how are you feeling about approaching a new school year?  As a veteran teacher and mother, I often had very mixed feelings. On one hand, I enjoyed the simple, carefree days of summer. (However, my own children often wanted rides, money or activities!)  On the other hand, I adored the concept of a new school year so I could try to do better than I did the previous year. Usually, I spent time attempting to create the perfect room arrangement and atmosphere—too bad electrical plugs are never where you need them!  In retrospect, I wish I had spent more time on developing personal, teacher goals.

 

On the website www.teachhub.com,  Ignacio Lopez, Ed. D., lists inspirational teacher resolutions to begin a new school year. Here are 4 with my suggestions:

  1. Stay positive.  Surround yourself with people who inspire you and communicate positive thoughts. If things turn negative, especially in the teachers’ lounge, change the topic. Choose a colleague to be an accountability partner and do regular check-ins with each other. Keep a folder of inspirational quotes and notes from parents, students and colleagues to turn to on days that you feel incomplete.

  2. Make better use of planning time.  We know how fast that 45 minutes can pass! Before the children arrive for the day, plan out how you will get your work done. Prioritize what needs to be done and develop a consistent planning routine that you will use daily.

  3. Spice up your classroom routine. Learn a new strategy or approach and use it with your children. Learning something new along with your class will model the learning process to them.

  4. Give individual time and attention to students.  Build a relationship with each child—in casual conversations, through routine tasks and in small group times.

Here’s to a new school year and teaching goals that will inspire you!   

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Training Spotlight

1st-3rd grade educators worked together to learn engaging ways to develop number sense. Students will develop fact fluency while playing games that use their number sense strategies. By learning their facts in this way, students are not merely memorizing, but rather learning to work with numbers flexibly.  “Low achievers are often low achievers not because they know less but because they don’t use numbers flexibly – they have been set on the wrong path, often from an early age, of trying to memorize methods instead of interacting with numbers flexibly.” Jo Boaler,  Stanford University, 2009

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