Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you have had time to celebrate with your loved ones and taken some time for yourself.
I am so thrilled to be welcoming in the New Year with you and thoroughly looking forward to another great year ahead. 2018 is here and it is not going anywhere. As a teacher, we very rarely take any time for ourselves and the students in our classes always come first.
It is time to think of yourself (even if it is just for a small amount of time). Here are my top 8 tips to help you make this year the best one yet:
- Think Positively! Without a positive attitude to everything you are doing, you won’t get anywhere, achieve any goals or move forward in any way. Positivity will move you forward in even the direst situations. Don’t let negativity (yes it happens in EVERY school) or a negative person bring you down. You do amazing things every day to support, develop and grow each and every student (or teacher if you are a leader). Get out there and spread positive vibes – watch just how much this helps you get momentum.
- Continuing on with the positive vibes …… Develop a Growth Mindset! People who believe that their talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies and support from others have a growth mindset. A growth mindset will allow you to continuously grow as an educator, whereas a fixed mindset will stop your growth. Learn, connect, develop, network, read, ask questions, try new things and take risks – by doing this you will be not only moving forward as an educator but helping your students and being a role model for other educators around you too.
- Being connected matters! Whether you like it or not, 2018 and beyond requires you to be connected. We live in an ultra-connected world and our students are the most well-connected of the lot. If we want to make a difference, we have to not only keep up but take steps to be ahead of the game. A great place to start is by developing a Professional Learning Network (PLN). For me it is Twitter (click here for some tips to get started). Others to take a look at that I also use are Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest & Facebook. Developing a PLN doesn’t just have to be online, connect with teachers around you and at conferences too. Ask questions, seek out learning and add value to someone else by sharing with you do. You can even help those around you get connected!
- Start blogging or writing down what you do and why you do it. One of the greatest things I did was start blogging. It was a way for me to share my learning, my experiences, my frustrations and my successes. After a while, I realized that others wanted to learn with me and hear about my experiences, no matter how low level I thought it was, there was someone on the other side of the screen wanting to learn more. You are no exception. Whether you are a tech whiz kid, a teacher new to the game or an experienced teacher close to retirement or you are battling through integrating technology in your classroom, there are people that want to hear your story and learn with you.
- Find your WHY. Simon Sinek is an inspiration to me and this video outlines why it is important to always start with your why. Before you can make changes, work towards achieving your goals and making a difference, it is critical that you know and understand your why.
- Kids come first. This is an important reminder not to get so caught up in self-development that you lose sight of what you do and why you do things (and that is helping students grow and develop as people).
- Seek out feedback from others. Constructive feedback will help you develop as an educator/leader. Ask people to observe you and give you feedback, go and observe others and grow, grow, grow. Reflect on the feedback received and always strive to improve and develop.
- Have fun! Whatever you do, you have to love it! If you don’t enjoy what you do, get out! Teaching is an art and teachers have the passion!
Happy New Year to all of my amazing PLN! Be safe, love life, take risks, learn and make a difference in everything you do.