Intentions for the New School Year

Monday, August 20, 2012

When I found this print online last month I had to have it in my classroom this year.
You can get it here

I can't believe that today is the first day of school. Seems like just yesterday I was dancing down the halls blasting Alice Cooper's "School's Out for Summer" on the last teacher work day of the 2011-2012 school year. (Yes, this is what teachers do when students aren't around.)

Yesterday a friend asked me what my expectations were for this school year and I answered honestly: "I have none." I've learned that things never turn out the way you thought they would. I did, however, decide to write down intentions for the new school year, just as I do for the new calendar or as my birthday approaches.

Here are my intentions for the new school year:

Be a good role model. Whether we want to be or not, teachers are role models, so I'm going to make it a point to be a positive one, especially for my female students. Aside from working to ignite a love for reading within my students and working to inspire them to write, I want to help them be confident too. And, along with encouraging them, one way to do that is to lead by example. I don't want my students, especially my female students, to ever overhear me speaking disparagingly about myself. We need to be careful to never say things like "I'm so stupid" or "This makes me look fat" or "My hair looks awful today" around teens.

Read for pleasure. This is another instance in which I need to lead by example. I'm constantly encouraging my students to read things other than the books I assign them, but most of the time I also push aside the reading I want to do because I spend so much of my free time rereading what we're studying in class as I try to revamp my lesson plans. This year I'm going to make it a point to read at least one book that isn't on my syllabus each month.

Let bad days roll off my back. Last year I had one class (actually one student in one class) that was extremely challenging for me and whenever I'd have a bad time in that class I'd let it ruin my whole day. Even if my other classes went along famously, I would go home focused on that one bad class period. This year I'm not going to let small challenges take the joy out of teaching.

Manage my time wisely. About four times a year, usually around the end of the 9-week grading period, I become a complete basketcase as I'm overwhelmed with papers and projects to grade. And this stress usually leads to me neglecting my writing and my exercise regimen for a few weeks. I'm determined to stay on top of things and not let this happen this year.

Set long-term career goals. I'm constantly thinking of my future as a writer, but because I'm so happy with my current teaching position I rarely think about my future as an educator. By the end of this school year I want to establish concrete goals for my teaching career.

Be positive. This year I am going to do my best to stay upbeat and optimistic regardless of what's going on at school or at home. I want to have fun while I'm teaching because if I'm having a blast my students will too.

Be myself. I have a tendency to not be myself at work. I can be shy and quiet around certain colleagues for fear that they'll get the wrong impression of me. Well, this is my fourth year at my school and I think it's time everyone met the real me. And, yes, this means my co-workers should  expect more dancing in the halls.


  1. Javacia, who ever thought that we would be teachers!!!! I am very proud of you for everything that you have accomplished so far!!! I think that these are wonderful intentions. Good luck with them all!!!!!!

  2. Great intentions for this acedemic year!