Whether you began brainstorming resolutions a month before New Year's Day or started them already into the new year, it's never too late to set resolutions.

A new year is a new opportunity for a fresh start with invigorated energy.

Get started on making positive changes, not just in your classroom but in your life as well.

1. stay positive

Coming off a much-needed break, it’s time to figure out how to make your classroom a happy place for you and your students in the long stretch to summer. Try these 5 Powerfully Positive Teaching Practices to get started.

2. spice up your classroom routine

Try one new technology or instructional technique each month to keep things new and challenging for you and your students. Making a list and assigning one new thing to each month will help you actually stick to this resolution. Check out our freebies page and Pinterest for lots of DIY print-outs to use! 

It wouldn’t be a resolution list without some mention of better health. Make it a classroom affair with healthy eating lessons, integrating movement into your day-to-day activities and just encouraging you and your students to take care of your bodies. Better yet, rally together other teachers interested in making health a priority this year, and hold each other accountable with after-school workouts and recipe swaps! 

3. maintain a good work/life balance

As best you can, keep school work at school, and enjoy your time at home. Practicing self-care allows you to show up as your best each day. Making yourself happy will be better for you AND your students.

4. don't let admin & school policies let you down

There is nothing you can do to change those annoying policies, unnecessary meetings or mounds of paperwork, so try to take a Zen about the situation rather than letting that sour mood infest you and your classroom.

5. plan your move up the pay scale

Whether you need to add professional development hours or graduate credits or change positions, consider what your career goals are and get a move on them! Start looking for a new position before January, and be proactive in your job search. 

6. set goals & avoid auto-pilot mode

Now, we don’t mean your school and official achievement goals, we mean your own personal classroom goals. What is one or two things you think are important but forget as soon as the flurry of the teaching gets in the way? Write one achievable goal a month on your calendar and make it a priority.

7. involve and empower students

By giving students more control over their assignments and activities, they will hopefully take ownership of their education and use their talents and interests in a positive way.

It doesn’t have to be formal one-on-ones, tutoring or meetings, but try to integrate a rotating classroom job in which your students help you do something. You can check in with him/her individually and see how everything is going (whether they’re the best , worst, loudest or quietest student in class).

8. get better at planning & organizing

Resolve to make the most of your day! Minimize distractions (hello Facebook & Instagram scrolling during your lunch) and instead use that time to squeeze in planning time so you can take less (or hopefully no) work home with you. It’s tempting to take the much-needed break during your day, but it’ll feel even better to walk away with an empty bag at the end of the day.

With the fresh start, it’s a great opportunity to get your classroom organization back on track. Here are some 6 Back to School Tips to Organize Your Classroom and 12 Time-Saving Assessment Strategies to get your school life back in order.

What's your #1 resolution this year?