Starting Fresh In The New Year

by | Dec 28, 2021 | Holidays, Teaching Strategies | 0 comments

New Year’s is often seen as a new beginning or a fresh start. It’s a time to wipe the slate clean and put problems behind you.

How can you start fresh in your classroom?

Ways To Start The New Year Fresh

Change Routines

I think every teacher has tried a rule or routine that just didn’t work out the way they had planned. Instead of continuing with something that just isn’t working,ditch it and start fresh. Everyone has been away, and returning from break is the perfect time to make changes – you will have to review rules and procedures anyway, so change what you  want.

Review, Review, Review

As mentioned, you need to review rules and procedures. Start like it’s the beginning of the year – because it is. Everyone will need a mental reset to get back into the swing of things.


No, you do not need to keep that ball of green yarn you haven’t used in two years or the entire cupboard of materials you inherited from the teacher who retired. 

Haven’t used it within the past year? Toss or gift it to someone who will actually use it. 

Lessons you absolutely worry about throwing out, scan or photograph and store them in a Google folder. If you need them, you know where to find them. (And when you don’t use them in a year, you can delete the folder…) Remember, even lessons can become outdated. 

Get Organized

Now that you have tossed all that stress-inducing clutter, organize what you actually use so that it’s easy to find and access. Yes, getting organized can take some time, but it will be 100% worth it when it’s finished. 

There is a reason there are people who are professional organizers – because it makes such a difference in your mind and spirit. 


Relationship Reset

Remember that kid who drove you up the wall? Start over. Let go of all the things that irritated you and try again.

Teachers are human. No one gets along with everyone. We are bound to have students whose personalities just clash with ours. However, we have to find ways to have a good relationship with them, or they won’t learn from us. People learn from teachers they like.

One of my biggest regrets was the year I let my irritation get to me. I was a new mom, going on no sleep and caffeine, and I had a student that just clashed with me. He was a nice kid,really – we were just different people. Instead of being irritated, I should have spent a few minutes trying to connect with him. The year would have been different for both of us if I had.

A reset may need to be done with a coworker, too. Again, teachers don’t need to be best friends, but things go a lot better when you can at least be professional with each other. Sometimes that isn’t possible – by all means avoid a toxic relationship – but if it is just a personality clash, try starting over.

Hopefully, having a break helped you get some space from any issues you may have had in the fall.
When you go back to school, do a mental and physical cleansing (I picture the cartoons showing a big cloud of dust, then reveal a clean and organized space and a bunch of incense, lol.)
Change what you can, get rid of the clutter (which reduces stress), and restart any relationships that you might be able to improve.

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Over twenty plus years, my educational career has spanned four continents and two states, as well as eight grade levels!

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