New Year, new you, right?
If you’re the kind of person to make New Year resolutions then you’ve probably decided to exercise more, reduce your screen time, or be better with your budget.
While we applaud you and hope that you accomplish whatever resolutions you made for yourself in your personal capacity, we’d like you to think about making New Year resolutions for work.
In our case, let’s look at New Year resolution ideas for TEFL teachers.
As teachers, we often pick up bad habits over the year that become part of our repertoire without our noticing. These are not habits that will make or break your lessons but that will mean your lessons are not as effective as they could be.
Why not think of some New Year’s resolution ideas for your professional self so you can start the new year on a high note? Here are a few of our favourites.
5 New Year resolution ideas
This may sound counter-intuitive but when it comes to making – and sticking – to New Year resolutions, it’s better to think small than big.
If your goals are too wide or too ambitious, you are likely to become demotivated when you aren’t successful immediately. Rather break your bigger goals into smaller, more manageable steps so that you can see your progress more quickly.
Bite your tongue
This one can be difficult for teachers, we know, but this one change will make such a difference in your classroom.
If you talk less your students will have more space to think and talk. Your classroom will become more learner-centred and your students will have more autonomy in the classroom.
Yes you heard right. You’re probably spending too much time planning. Instead, you should be planning smartly.
What does that mean?
- Keep records of your plans so you can make use of them more than once.
- Store all your TEFL materials on a hard drive so that you don’t have to lug tons of books with you everywhere.
- Organise your plans in a way that makes sense to you so that you can find the appropriate ones easily.
- Update and adapt your lesson plans and materials whenever you use them so they stay relevant.
Read more: Top Tips For Effective Lesson Planning
Stop, collaborate and listen
The other teachers in your staff room are a wealth of information. You can save yourself a lot of time by picking their brains during lunch hour for ideas and advice. Chances are someone has already done the topic, language structure and level that you are planning for, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
If a colleague is able to help you out with a lesson, no doubt you’ll share a worksheet with them on another day.
This is a no-brainer. Being on time for your classes is the most basic form of respect for your students. You can’t expect them to be on time if you’re not.
However, being on time is not good enough.
You need to be early so that you can get yourself in the right frame of mind for your lessons. Being a few minutes early means you can get prepared before your learners arrive so you can greet them and chat to them for a few minutes before the lesson begins.
Write it down
Getting to know your students is essential to creating a comfortable classroom environment.
But it can be really hard to keep track of all your students’ interests and family members if you have 500 students! Keep a notebook and take notes of these little details for each class. You may be surprised how this can improve your relationships with your students.
Take a break
In the new year, don’t forget about your mental health and well-being. Looking after yourself is important in terms of a healthy diet, exercise and rest – a good work-life balance.
Working as a teacher can be equal parts exhausting and exciting; if you don’t look after yourself you will burn out before you know it.
Read more: Self-Care And The TEFL Teacher
These might seem simple New Year resolution ideas but little things can make big changes. Take the opportunity of the new year to effect a few small changes to your teaching style and reap the benefits for the rest of the year.