When it comes to New Year’s resolutions for teachers, the focus is often on major changes that will bring about a more positive work-life balance. However, sometimes success is best achieved by making a series of small changes. Try these easy-win/win-win ideas for size.
Make time work for you
Working smarter, not harder is a mantra that is often heard a lot. A complaint that teachers make a lot is that there is never enough time and not enough hours in the day to do everything you need (or would like) to do.
Therefore, making best use of your time is pretty damn important. When it comes to ‘dead time’ there is nothing worse than the daily commute. This year, your resolutions might be that you want to read more or learn a new language. Even if your commute is a drive, in the age of podcasts and audiobooks, you can ensure that every second of the commute is used productively.
Have a spring clean in your classroom
Okay, the daffodils and spring might seem a way off yet but now is the perfect time to have a clear up and a clear out in your classroom. Be ruthless – a clear desk helps you have a clear mind. It gives a clean slate for the new term and the new year ahead.
This isn’t for everyone, but especially if dieting or healthier living is on your resolution agenda for 2019, then planning your meals in advance can be really useful. Whether it’s pre-making at home or following one of the plethora of meal plans that can be found online, planning helps you stay on track – and it can help you to make considerable savings too.
Reuse resources. Don’t reinvent the wheel
Teachers are forever making new teaching resources. However, in our haste to do so we often forget to check the resources we already have – or what our colleagues have. In many ways, things used to be easier when all resources were on paper and kept in ring binders and box files. Now they are digital and stored in various electronic folders or in different drives, it’s actually easier to forget what you already have at your disposal.
It’s a very worthwhile exercise to do a resource audit. At least ensure that you know where to find every resource quickly.
Make the most of PPAs
At the start of the academic year most teachers make good use of their precious PPA time. They plan, mark and resource. However, as Christmas approaches the good habits often begin to slip. The new year is the perfect opportunity to reinvigorate this all-important time and to start making the most of it once again.
It’s easy for the time to be sucked up by the multitude of miscellaneous tasks that never seem to get to you very far. Or, worse, by fully-fledged procrastination! Plan for it, write to-do lists and make that PPA time really work for you again.