Happy New Year!
The first semester ended as it has for me in the past: classroom holiday celebration including treats, presents for me, and parent volunteers asking me, "How do you do this all day every day?" (Side note: one mom even told me she'd "probably have to be drunk all the time" to handle my class five days a week. Vindication?)
Anyway, Hubs and I had a not-so-relaxing but oh-so-fun trip home to New Orleans. We went to some fun parties, celebrated and spent time with family, and watched our beloved Saints whip up on our rivals the Falcons before heading back up here. Then I headed up to visit my best friend in Virginia, returned and spent New Year's with our friends here, and even got to watch the last regular-season Saints game today with my fabulous aide from last year (hi, friend!). It's been a much-needed break.
You'll note, however, that "preparing for the upcoming semester in any way, shape, or form" and "cleaning my hot mess of a classroom" were nowhere in my holiday description. That's because I haven't done a damn thing for school, and you know what? I'm ok with it.
We have a teacher workday tomorrow, and I plan to be super-focused all day to make up for my holiday enjoyment.
In the spirit of ringing in a new year with resolutions, here are a few I'm planning to focus on that relate to school:
1. Take care of myself. This doesn't directly relate to school, but a happier person is a happier teacher. Hubs and I have been working on getting our house in order, so it looks more like we've lived there for 6 months and less like we are squatters and/or hoarders. I'm also back to watching what I eat carefully and exercising. We'll see how that goes.
2. Get school preparation done farther in advance. This has been a goal since I started teaching - hell, since I student taught. I'm never going to be the teacher who's planned 3 weeks ahead of time, but my goal is not to be making things I need the morning I need them.... at least, not very often....
3. Adjust my expectations. This is both for me and for my students. I need to realize that I have the children I have, and I am the teacher I am. I am not going to beat myself up inside if a lesson isn't perfect, and if my class' stupid test scores aren't what another class' are. On the other end of the spectrum, as far as behavior goes, my expectations will be a-changin'. I'm getting serious with that, y'all.
4. Keep my classroom organized. Haha, yeah right. That was just a little comic relief. But seriously, I do have specific goals like "see the bottom of my desk at least bi-weekly" and "put something in a file folder at least once." Small steps.
Anyway, I hope that you are making resolutions too. I think it's a healthy and helpful process to examine areas of our lives that could use tweaking or improving. Don't change too much, though - where would that leave you for 2013?