Rachel Doyle

New Year, Fresh Start

After a few weeks off relaxing over Christmas, December feels like a distant memory. For teachers, January is a great opportunity to set some goals for the year ahead and ensure the rest of the academic year is a success. Here are some top tips to make 2023 a great one for you and your class: 
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Plan a January Refresh 

While September is an essential time for establishing classroom rules and expectations, returning after the Christmas holidays provides another chance to embed classroom routines and high expectations to help student make the right choices. Taking time to remind pupils of establish routines and expectations can help everyone refocus for the rest of the school year. 

The new year also provides a good opportunity to address any negative habits and behaviours students may have slipped into towards the end of last term. Make your expectations clear- reminding pupils of their roles and responsibilities. Rewarding students who display positive behaviour will help to reinforce these expectations further.  

Start a Teacher Journal

If you don’t already, January may be a good time to start a teaching journal. At the end of the day, take a few minutes to reflect on what worked well, what did not work, and something you may need to improve on. Some teachers like to use the 2 stars and next step model to help with this. Building journal entries into your routine will help you become a more reflective practitioner. These notes will also prove really useful for adapting your future planning and practice accordingly.  
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Set Professional Development Goals 

Teaching is a dynamic career that requires continual professional development. While your school might provide some Continued Professional Development (CPD), you owe it to yourself to look outside of school and pursue your own professional development. Think about what areas of education interest you the most - it might be phonics or SEND provision. Once you have found your area of interest take time to see what CPD opportunities are out there and go for it! It is more than likely you’ll be able to enrol on a course or apply to complete an additional qualification in your specific area of interest. This will not only look good on your CV, but school senior leadership teams will be impressed at your proactive approach to professional development.  

Prioritise a Work Life Balance 

Undoubtably, one of the biggest issues teachers face is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This is essential to maintain a long and healthy career in teaching. Being able to leave work at work is something many teachers struggle with, and this is something that can take a while to embed in daily life. While reflecting on your practise and your personal goals for the year, consider setting boundaries to ensure the workload does not impact your personal life, and that you take time for yourself during evening, weekends and school holidays. 
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Whatever habits you strive to set, January is a perfect time to examine practices and adopt some school New Year’s resolutions. 

For more from Prospero Teaching, head over to our website prosperoteaching.com to register with us, check out our library of blogs, browse our online courses catalogue or sign up to attend one of our online or in-person CPD sessions that we have coming up.As ever, the cost of our online and in-person courses is fully refundable (minus the booking fee) for attendees who register with Prospero Teaching.