Celebrating New Years as a teacher is a strange proposition because we don’t operate on the calendar the way most people do. This isn’t the new year. The new year started five or six months ago, or is coming in six months. This is, quite literally, the middle of the year. Sure, things change in January. Any teacher can tell you that some of the kids who left our rooms before Winter Break will be different when they walk back in afterwards. A lot of growing happens in those ten-to-fourteen days. Switches flip, hormones fire, growth occurs. Be that as it may, the point stands that the calendar New Year is not our new year.
Still, it’s a good time to make a few resolutions. Halfway through the school year means we know our kids well. The chemistry experiment that is a classroom has pretty much been solved and the puzzle pieces are in place. If we’ve done our jobs well, the kids know the expectations back-to-front, we know each other, and things are moving along nicely.
Which means it’s a perfect time to switch things up.
What’s been itching at the back of your mind? What have you seen here or on Twitter or Google+ or in another classroom that’s made you think, “I want to try that!” Or (even better) “That makes me think of this whole other idea to try!” Why haven’t you launched it yet? Time. Energy. All the other things that pull at us.
Now is your chance. Bust out that project. Take that leap. Experiment with a new program, a different bot, alternative seating, anything that changes things up. It’s the new year. You’re a good teacher and you’ve been reflecting on your practice all year. You’ve probably been putting those reflections back into your practice as you go, but now’s the chance for something new. Maybe it’s starting a blog or a podcast or building your own website or a class YouTube channel. 2017 sounds like the future to me so it’s time to get Future Ready.
Change keeps everyone on their toes, it keeps us from getting complacent. We want our students comfortable, but not settled. Find ways to make them dance (including having them actually dance- movement is good). I know, now is the time when some of us start gearing up to think about *glances around* *whispers* The Big Tests At The End. But if this consumes us then what are we doing?
Grab a few resolutions, steal a couple of ideas, and take a leap or three. What will you change, add, or replace in your classroom in 2017? Share in the comments.
Happy New Year!
CUE is also happy to announce The CUE Shortlist- 5 to Love & 5 to Lose. Making its premier in the Winter edition of OnCUE, The CUE Shortlist looks at five education trends that we love and are on the rise, and five trends that need to be on their way out.
5 to Love
> Student Voice
> The TOSA
> Open Education
5 to Lose
> Interactive Whiteboards
> Reading Anthologies
Doug Robertson is the CUE blog editor and an eleventh-year teacher currently talking at fifth graders in Northern Oregon. He’s taught in California, Hawaii, and Oregon in 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades. He’s the author of two books about education, He’s the Weird Teacher and THE Teaching Text (You’re Welcome), one novel, The Unforgiving Road, and is an active blogger. Doug speaks at teaching conferences including CUE Rock Star Teacher Camps, presenting on everything from technology to teaching philosophy (or teaching The Weird Way, to use his words). Doug is also the creator and moderator of #WeirdEd on Twitter, which happens every Wednesday at 7pm PST.