Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy New YEAR! Or...Happy Last Night of Summer

I've always found New Year's celebrations to be the most bizarre time of year.  January 1st represents a new beginning, a time to make resolutions, reflect on your year & set goals for your new year.  But nothing really changes.  It's January - a new tax year sure, but that's about it.

For me, the New Year is always the new academic year.  That's the real "new year" afterall.  Teachers & students have spent 6-8 weeks on holidays and are gearing up for a brand new school year.  Teachers are trying to enjoy their last few moments of summer holiday, all while feeling somewhat guilty (or perhaps not at all!) about how little work they've gotten done this summer, even though they promised themselves that this summer would be the one where they plan their entire year ahead of time. 

Teachers in the UK start back tomorrow. Tonight, they are thinking through what they're going to do on the very first day of their new classrooms.  They might have their class lists already, and if they know some of the students then they're probably planning strategies for setting the tone of the year in those first few moments.

New teachers are freaking out, too nervous and excited to sleep. What will this year be like?

New Year's doesn't have this effect at all.  January 1st is really just another day. But September - that's a fresh start.

So to all the teachers starting school tomorrow, I wish you a very heartfelt Happy New Year! 

This is YOUR year. 

You're going to rock it!

Set your intentions, take deep breaths, let it all slide off your back, stay focused, flexible and fun. 

Remember to do what makes you happy, because good teachers speak from experience & lead through example. 

Take time in your evenings to exercise, read, socialize.

Have fun. 

This is the year that you're not going to raise your voice, not even once. You got this. 

You can get those students eating out of the palm of your hand, because you're interesting, you love teaching & you love what the students get out of your teaching.

This is your year. 

Happy New YEAR teachers!

Resources for Teaching in London

Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
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