When a new school year is starting, I find it helpful to set some goals for personal and professional growth — after all our students are not the only ones who need a sense of progress in order to be motivated. So I usually think back about my practice, my lessons and my general teaching routine to find 3-4 points where I can improve myself. I also usually add at least one point related to my personal life. After all, a happy teacher is a better teacher, isn’t it? 🙂
So anyway, here are my four “new school year resolutions” for this year:
- Keep a teaching journal more consistently. Last year I was able to scrap some notes here and there about lessons, but not consistently. I found the notes very useful to reflect on the students and the lessons I taught, so this year I want to try to do this more consistently. I haven’t decided what’s the best way to do it yet though (with a short vocal recording, keeping a separated notebook just for this, writing some notes on my lesson plan…?), so suggestions are welcome.
- Focus on pronunciation. This is something I always tend to neglect in class, I don’t know why. I think it has something to do with the fact that I don’t see myself as an appropriate — or good enough — model for my students. I think it is time to drop these concerns and try to incorporate more pronunciation work in my lessons.
- Smile! Many people tell me that when they first met me they thought I was too serious and didn’t smile much, so much so that they thought I must have been cross or upset. In fact, I think this is simply due to anxiety or a little shyness I have when I am around people I don’t know well. Nothing wrong with being a bit shy I think, but I want to try to relax and smile more, in order to make my students feel comfortable and relaxed too.
- Exercise! Being self-employed in the last three years, I hardly found the time to do some exercise. I either worked from 8 am to 10 pm, or was too tired to try anything. Plus it was very difficult to set aside a specific time or day to attend some kind of class, so I just dropped everything. But this year I really want — and actually already made some arrangements — to do something to keep fit and live better. I am sure this will also help me in my teaching because, after all, mens sana in corpore sano.
Do you think I can make it? If you want to join in, I suggest you do a little list of your own, maybe write it down on your blog so that you can go back and check on your progress throughout the year.
If you do so, please let me know on the comments section below. Happy new school year everyone! 😀