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Top New Year's Resolutions for Educators

What do you hope to accomplish in 2013?

Found In: advice & support

teacher with studentsSome of us promise to lose weight. And others may pledge to stop procrastinating and tackle that long put-off house project. But educators generally use the new year to resolve to do better by their students and profession.

We asked NEA members to share their resolutions for teaching in the New Year. Here are their responses, along with some resources to help keep those promises.

Enjoy My Students

“More one on one time during intervention, relax more, and enjoy every day with my students.”
Becky Charlton, Lebanon, Ohio

“Taking the time to enjoy my students. Time goes by so quickly and they are just an awesome bunch of kids!”
Katie Dietterle, Oceanside, California


Make Time for Myself and My Family

“To alter my teaching in a way that allows for more family time. Cut down my ‘homework’ to not exceed more than 2 or 3 hours a night!”
Tracy Shannon, Queens, New York

“Leave time and energy in the day to take care of me, physically, mentally, and spiritually.”
Carol L. Byrnes, San Diego, California


Bring Order to the Classroom

“To be more consistent with classroom management.”
Pam Garrett, Dutchtown, Louisiana


Learn How to Integrate New Technology Into My Classroom

“To continue gaining expertise in technology, and learn fresh ways to incorporate it in my daily teaching. This is my 34th year, and there's still so much to learn!”
Karen Atterberry, Yakima, Washington

“Making an iStop motion movie with the kids when school starts back up.”
Kathy Long


Try Something Different

“I have a really awesome class of second graders. I resolve to take more of a facilitator role at times and not jump in at the first sign of a struggle to give my students more opportunities to ‘think.’ I want my students to be more actively engaged in their learning.”
Dawn Mixon, Winterville, Georgia

“My idea for the new year is to laminate seating charts so I can note events/tardies/abs/participation as I am teaching or interacting with the students during class. Then I can transfer the info to the online gradebook or call parents at the end of the day. Then I can wipe off that day’s notes and be ready for the next day. I noticed that my sub had written all over my seating charts the last time she was covering my class, and instead if being irritated about that, an idea was born; something that both if us can use.”
Mary Margaret


  • NEA Today Pinterest: From setting up your classroom, to planning science projects, access hundreds of ideas from educators.
  • Works4Me: Written by teachers, for teachers, this online community shares practical tips via an online discussion board. The best ideas are sent out weekly to subscribers in a free e-newsletter (sign up here).
  • NEA Today Facebook: Like us on Facebook and join a community of educators sharing ideas and responding to the latest education news.

Connect with Students and Help Them Enjoy Learning

“I want to help students feel that they matter....I’ve taught for 25 years, and we are expected to cover more than ever and collect more data. It’s easy to get caught up in covering content. In the end, I feel it's most important that students enjoy learning and that they feel important.”
Cheryl Pilato, Armada, Michigan

“To give my students more time to read for pleasure in my classroom.”
Brad Dunning, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“To keep trying to reach students, and help them value their education.”
Lise Riehle, Hemet, California


Make a Fresh Start

“To clean my room up and pretend it’s the first day of school again…fresh start and new attitude!”
Melinda Lantelme, Eagle Lake, Texas


Stay Informed and Speak Up for Education

“To provide members of my local topical information about national trends that can potentially impact their teaching.”
Cathy Koehler, Little Rock, Arkansas

“Community partnerships and relationships are more important than ever as we continue to battle funding challenges and re-think teaching and learning in the 21st century. I'm starting with getting to know my school board and local chamber of commerce in 2013. I'm proud to be a teacher. And I want everyone to know it.”
Jessica Cuthbertson, Aurora, Colorado (from the TransformED Blog)


Find a Job

“I just want to get back into the classroom. After leaving my job of 11 years in the city schools, I have not been able to get back into a district. I’ve worked in several charter schools but was staff reduced, and I've subbed in several local districts. This year I’m determined to find my own classroom!”
Carla Harris-Springer


What are your New Year's resolutions? Share them in the comments below.


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