Whether you're heading back to school, coming off a holiday break, or maybe you're smack dab in the middle of a school year, I know it's easy to feel "locked in" and unable to make any changes. This is fairly common. As the stress of the year increases, it feels like it gets harder and harder to make changes to your instruction, classroom management, or just about anything else! The truth is...it IS possible, and YOU CAN DO IT!
There is still time! There are a few things you should remember though.
"The next time you think there isn't enough time to make a change for the benefit of your students, think again. Do it anyway, and THRIVE in your classroom!"
Changes don't have to be huge.
Sometimes we think that changes have to be gigantic and life altering. Honestly, many times small changes over time can have just as large of an impact. Pick one thing every week, or one every month, to improve on and make that your focus.
Maybe you want to let students work at their own pace, or try to improve your grade book with Standards-Based Grading. These can be gigantic changes if you try and take it all in at once. But, what if you just take baby steps?
Focus on small, achievable (non-stressful) changes that will improve your instruction. This will not only keep you sane, but allow you to continually improve your practice as a teacher. I know it can seem like a lot, but any step forward is better than no steps at all!
There is always enough time...we just think there isn't.
It might not feel like it, but we have more time than we think more often than not. When we consider making changes, a common thought is "there isn't enough time left in the year," or "I have too much going on." These phrases "feel" like they are true, but when we actually break down our days, there's a lot of time we can find if we look hard enough. You might also think, "the year's about to start. I can't get done in time."
The hard, honest truth is that teaching is messy. But improving a single lesson, a week, or an entire school year is ALWAYS worth it. It is never too late, and there is always time to improve yourself, your classroom, and the experiences your students have every single day.
Once you've gotten past the fact that you don't think there is enough time to change, or you overcome whatever excuse you thought was in your way, it's time to commit! Set manageable goals and a timeline for how long you think these changes will take. This is vital to the success of any initiative you might have. Now is the time, today, set yourself up for success right now!
The next time you think there isn't enough time to make a change for the benefit of your students, think again. Do it anyway, and THRIVE in your classroom!