New Year’s Classroom Resolutions - Resources for your Spanish Classroom
By Anne Silva
In case you weren’t aware of it, New Year’s Eve has come and gone again. And if you’re like me, most of your personal resolutions have already gone by the wayside. That’s right, folks: we’re one whole week into 2015, and I have already flaked on pretty much all of the ways I was going to be AWESOME this year.
But that got me thinking about a blog post that I read recently. The blogger’s resolution was to stop trying to be TOTALLY AWESOME, ALL THE TIME, TO EVERYONE, and just try to do well those few things that actually matter. And I wondered if the same wouldn’t also hold true for those “Classroom New Year’s Resolutions” that we teachers create.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to come back from winter break FIRED UP and rarin’ to go. I have a million ideas for things I’m going to do AMAZINGLY in my classroom, and I have pinned every last one of them on Pinterest. I’ve got spankin’ new gel pens, and I’ve freshly Clorox-wiped all of the desks in my room, so my classroom even SMELLS like a fresh start. And since I got a decent night’s sleep at least once during these two weeks, I’m just full to the brim with vague notions of really show-stopping lesson plans, differentiation ideas, technology tools, cultural flair, etc., etc., etc., that I’m going to implement ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I tell you, the night before we go back from break, I am the Best Teacher Who Ever Lived.
And then? Well, you probably know the rest. Real Life happens. I do some of the ideas, some of the time, get discouraged when they don’t all work, run out of time, forget the rest, and just generally can’t live up to my own expectations as World’s Greatest Teacher. Add to that the third-quarter doldrums and lack of sunlight, and I’m grasping at straws to just survive until Spring Break. And you know what the worst part is? I feel like I fail my students when this happens, even though the whole intention was to be great so that they can be great.
Do you do this, too? Surely I’m not the only one, right?
So this year, I have a proposal for you: I propose that we be kind to ourselves, and take a step back from the feeling that we have to fling ourselves into the second half of the year like proverbial bats out of hell. I want you to think for a moment about the teachers who made the biggest impact on YOU. Was it because they did All The Things, All The Time? I’m guessing not. It seems to me that if we take it down a notch and do the small things well, the big things might take care of themselves. Do we take the time to listen to our students? I mean, really listen? Do we let our students get to know us? Do we laugh at school? Do we model kindness, organization, critical thinking, and the other qualities that we hope they learn, as well as the preterite tense? Are we willing to try new teaching ideas… and when we fail, do we get up and try again? Do we treat our colleagues the way we want to be treated?
Those suddenly sound like really “big” questions, but what I mean is this: breathe, teacher-friend. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Set this year’s Classroom Resolutions so that they are small, meaningful, and achievable… and most importantly, so that they fill you up in the end rather than wearing you out.
Here’s hoping that 2015 brings you joy, success, and laughter.
Every year, Americans around the nation get together to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th through October 15th. The contributions Hispanic Americans have made to the United States are endless and inspiring, and they have had a profound and positive impact on our county.
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