It’s early December. The school year is in full swing. What was once anticipation and excitement over a new school year has quickly become the disillusionment that is winter. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Most of us start the school year off with many lofty goals and good intentions, but somewhere around November we realize we’ve gotten off target a little. It may seem too late in the year to make changes but its not. December is the perfect time of the school year to write new goals for your classroom!
Why should I update my goals now?
The changing of the year provides the perfect opportunity to hit ‘refresh’ on your classroom. Your students are probably already aware of other people in their lives creating new goals and resolutions for the New Year, so it won’t seem weird to them at all that you’re doing the same. Not to mention, if you feel like your classroom needs a revamp, they more than likely think so too.
Creating new goals for your classroom can help improve your classroom management, foster a better sense of community, create new routines, establish new boundaries and improve morale.
How to create new classroom goals?
With almost everything in your classroom, its important to get your student’s input. You need them to ‘buy in’ to your new goals, so let them be a part of it. Creating new goals can start with a conversation. Ask your students what things they are doing well this year and what things they could improve on. Go a step further and ask what you, the teacher, are doing well and what you could improve on. (Prepare to suck it up here, they’re going to give you some honest truth – don’t forget that you asked for it so you need to accept it with grace.) To go the extra mile really ask them to get specific with classroom behavior and accountability.
You’ll be amazed at how well the students understand the ins & outs of your classroom. More than likely together you can create a great list of ideas with out spending much time and effort in the process.
How do you present your new goals to your students?
As the New Year begins its important that you’re up front and honest with your students. They respond well to the truth. Tell them how exciting the New Year is, talk about why you’re looking forward to changes. Keep your announcement positive, this is not the time to dwell on negatives, you’re moving on in a positive direction.
Post your goals & resolutions in the classroom for everyone to see and take a few minutes each day to revisit them and also gauge how well you’re all doing at following them. Within a few short weeks you should see some major improvements in your classroom and you’ll be reaping the benefits all the way into Spring!
Do you have experience creating New Year’s goals & resolutions with your students? Let us know your ideas and experiences in the comments below!