Teaching: New Year, New You

Dec 25, 2015 | August, Back To School, January, Summer, Teacher Wisdom, Winter | 9 comments

Teaching: New Year, New You! Practical things you can change in your classroom that can hugely impact your environment and classroom culture. Changes can be made at any point in the year! Don't wait - your students only have one chance at this grade level.

No one ever said that you have to keep your classroom exactly the same way all year and mid-year is a great time of year to implement some of those changes that could really impact the climate and culture of your class!  It’s a new year so be a new you with your teaching!  Teaching: New Year, New You!

So here’s a list of things you could consider changing.  Hope it helps!

  • Classroom Setup – Move your library or try a new desk arrangement.  Sometimes things just don’t flow or work for a group of students and changing them can really give you some peace of mind.
  • Take Your Behavior Chart Off The Wall – That’s right.  Take it down if you dare!  Hold students individually accountable instead of hanging it on the wall for everyone to see.  Students who need a behavior plan that badly will benefit much more from having something individualized for their needs.  Read why I took mine off the wall here.
  • Reorganize your centers or make new ones.  If you don’t have a writing center this is a super easy and always engaging center you can pull together quickly and most likely using resources you already have.
  • Plan out the rest of the school year.  Here’s a free pacing guide to get you organized.  Or create yourself a new lesson plan template so you can plan out your weeks with more ease.
  • Seating Chart – Moving students around gives the students a chance to start over fresh with new friends.
  • Reorganize your stuff.  This always feels good to do.  Clean out that back cabinet or get new bins for your small group books.   So many things in our classroom that constantly need to be reorganized – it’s like a never-ending job in my classroom.
  • Create a What Stuck With You Today Chart.  This is a great way to start teaching your students how to reflect on their learning each day.  It makes a great closing activity for the day and helps students to be better able to explain to their families what they learned during the day.
  • Start planning a summer professional development trip!  I highly recommend going to Frog Street Splash!  I have been to several summer professional development classes and Splash was seriously the most fun and the best content. Highly recommend!  You can also see my tips for attending teacher conferences here.  Now is the time to start planning if you want your school to somehow fund it.
  • Spend a little time cleaning up your Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  These are all great social media platforms that allow you to follow teachers all over the world but sometimes we may have followed people we don’t necessarily get the pins we really need to transform our classrooms.  (Click the hyperlinks above to see who I follow for great content.)

It is our jobs as teachers to monitor and adjust to our classes each year and because of that I feel like as professionals we should be making these changes to our routines in order to adapt to the group of students we have.  Don’t wait until next year to fix things that you want to fix or try things you want to try.  After all, students will (hopefully) only have one shot at this grade level with you!

What changes have you made that impact your classroom culture and community?

Teaching: New Year, New You! Practical things you can change in your classroom that can hugely impact your environment and classroom culture. Changes can be made at any point in the year! Don't wait - your students only have one chance at this grade level.

Looking for some specific resolutions for early childhood teacher?  Read here:

New Years Resolutions for Teachers, specifically early childhood teachers! A great read for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade teachers.

MORE Related Posts:  21 Back to School Tips from Real Teachers, 10 Truths About Teaching Kindergarten, and The Teacher Supply Guide for Amazon.

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  1. Jenny Morrissey-Cooper

    Thanks Some of these I had on my to do lit. Others were reminders of things I want to do. Perfect!

  2. Suzy Negrette

    I am a kindergarten teacher and this was just what I needed to read!! I have been thinking about a fresh start and you put the words right out in front of me. Thank you!!!

    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      You are very welcome! So glad you stop by. Let us know what changes you make and if they are successful or not!

  3. karen660

    What great ideas! I’m not a teacher, but I know the children love coming to their room and having things fresh and changed up a little bit!

    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      Thanks so much for stopping by Karen!

  4. hkundin

    Great ideas! I homeschool, but we can implement a lot of these in our home classroom as well. Thanks! 🙂

    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      Oh wow. Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

  5. Abigail P (@lovinourchaos)

    As a classroom teacher, I love this time of year! It’s a great time for new beginnings and I do many of the things on your list! Great article and ideas for teachers!

    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      Me as well!


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