A Teacher’s New Year’s Resolution

New Years Resolution

2015 has come and gone in what seems like a few blinks of the eye. We are in another January, and even though the majority of the school year is still on the latter side of 2016, it feels like we are at the halfway point. And if 2015 flew like it did, imagine how fast the rest of the school year is going to clock out. Many people tie turning over a new year with a New Year’s Resolution. The gyms will be packed over the next few weeks and the online dating services will also see a spike in new customers as everyone earnestly attempts to stay true to those goals they set for another year. Aside from these personal life goals, it is important to perhaps include a few professional goals in the repertoire. This is especially true if your profession happens to be in education.

The life of a teacher is different than many other professions. The New Year is a case and point: many teachers feel like they are gifted with two “new years”. The first one, obviously being January 1st at midnight, is just the perfect distance from teachers’ second “new year”, which always falls that night before the first day of school in the fall. The double “new years”, encompassing both the new calendar year and a new school year, allow teachers the opportunity to reflect and revise two times per annum. Even though traditionally the New Year usually fosters more personal resolutions, it provides the perfect time to reflect on the first half of the school year and make some resolutions for the second part.

I could probably spin out a bunch of platitudes about “caring more about students” and some other bland tropes that every teacher should resolve to do in the new year and make a top 10 list or something along those lines. But I don’t want to waste the time of anyone who is reading this. All those clichés fall under one roof and thus can be alleviated by one short sentence: If you have fallen into routine and become bland, unoriginal and uninvested in your craft, take these last nights before school starts again to do whatever you need to do in order to refresh and revitalize. Pretty simple.

Teachers are unique and come into the classroom with different and distinct purposes. How the 10-year vet approaches January may be different than how the rookie teacher does. Both can be right. What is important is that all teachers take the opportunity that the winter holiday provides to jot down some resolutions specifically pertaining to their role as a teacher. I have a few things that I set out to do before the school year started and some more goals that manifested throughout the year that I have resolved to complete by June. Thanks to the New Year, I made these resolutions and now have the opportunity to get back into school refreshed and focused on starting them.

…Right after I go to the gym…


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Matthew R. Morris

Educator, Speaker, Writer

Matthew R. Morris is a writer, speaker, and elementary educator in Toronto. He has an M.A. in Social Justice Education from OISE at the University of Toronto and is the author of the forthcoming book, Black Boys Like Me. 

Matthew R. Morris

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