How to create your best school year ever
School in 2020 is definitely a new adventure. Some schools are virtual. Others are meeting as usual but with many new procedures in place to keep students and staff safe and healthy.
Despite the changes and uncertainty around us, what can we do to get off to a great start and create the conditions necessary for a great school year? There’s a lot!
Five Strategies for a Magical and Intentional Year
- Set an intention–Not to get all woo-woo on you here but this is a useful technique for whatever you are doing that is new. Athletes, entertainers and CEO’s use this technique successfully to create optimum performance. It can work equally well for educators.
- Begin with the end in mind. Picture or visualize how you want your classroom to be as we move into the new school year. The tendency is to be so busy doing (managing student behavior, putting up bulletin boards, making lessons plans) that we expend all of our energy and don’t take the time to be. Imagine how you want the room to feel; excited, enthusiastic, focused, curious, etc.
- Revisit your teaching method–This is always a good idea but the changes in our environment have probably forced this upon you. Consider it an opportunity to look at your materials and curriculum with a renewed fresh look. Imagine that you are seeing it for the first time. How will you engage students, pique their curiosity, personalize the message? Make sure the environment, whether classroom or virtual, reflects your new vision.
- Stay positive–it is really easy to let the negative drag you down. There are always too many things to do, too many students to adequately serve, too few resources, too many meetings to attend and not enough time. Reserve judgement. Expect the unexpected and see it as a learning experience. Choose to be a positivity role model for your students and you will find your enthusiasm is contagious.
- Focus on and process the experience as much as the material. It’s easy to bemoan the fact that it’s hard to teach or counsel students because of all the extenuating factors in their lives. It’s also easy to blame the restrictions imposed upon us by Covid-10 for an inability to engage students. Instead view those circumstances as an opportunity to find new and more effective ways to reach students. Sometimes the biggest lesson you can teach is how to handle disappointment and adversity.
- Take care of yourself–there will never be enough time to do it all. One reason you became an educator was because of your creative, heart-centered giving spirit. Make sure sure that you direct that energy toward yourself as well as the students you serve. When you take care of yourself, you are modeling for students how they can take care of themselves and that is an invaluable lesson.
By following a plan, you will be able to not only meet the expectations of parents and students, but also to enjoy the fruits of your efforts.
Wyatt the Wonder Dog didn’t make it on the All Star baseball team and he feels like a loser. All his friends will be playing baseball this summer, while he and his pesky sister, Callie, visit grandparents at the beach. How Wyatt learns to handle disappointment and failure will be an important lesson for the future. Will he give up trying new things? Will he have the confidence to try again? Are there some things that take more practice and persistence to learn than others?
This book is funny! Its dogs doing things that only people do! I learned to try new things. ~Samuel Traub, Age 6