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Educator Articles


Teacher's New Year's Resolutions

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

In 2016, I resolve not to teach my students to have a happy productive life, but rather to help them choose a happy, productive day.

I resolve to help my students appreciate that there is no such thing as failure, only temporary results that they can use as feedback to determine their next step.

I resolve to fix problems rather than fix blame by maintaining a solution-seeking mindset and teaching my students a problem-solving process.

I resolve to aid my students in their struggle with autonomy by creating a balance of power through a shared control style of classroom management.

I resolve to remember that I want students to behave in ways that reflect what THEY find unacceptable, not in ways that I, the teacher, find unacceptable.

I resolve to welcome interpersonal skill errors as learning experiences and as important opportunities to implement consequences.

I resolve to educate t in a way that demonstrates that I believe the only authority students take with them everywhere they go is their inner authority.

I resolve to allow my responses to my students to reflect a knowing that some lapses in self-control are developmentally appropriate. I will remember that they behave in certain ways because they are five or eight or fourteen years old.

I resolve to teach in a way that reflects my belief that the process is as important as the product.

When I am stumped and don't know how to respond to one of my students, I promise to ask myself, "What would love do now?" I also intend to listen internally for an answer.

I resolve to recall that I can choose to see any classroom situation differently from the way I have been seeing it. I will remember that perception is always a choice.

I resolve to relax, while remembering that relaxing does not mean resigning.

I resolve to make my approach to educating reflect the notion that teaching a student is more about drawing out what already exists in a youngster rather than about putting in to fill perceived deficiencies.

I resolve to focus on the main purpose of education, the creation of who and what we really are as human beings.

I resolve to remember that "being right" doesn't work.

I resolve to behave as if I believe that a student's I AM (I am athletic, I am creative, etc.) is more important than his or her IQ.

I resolve to live today as if attitudes were more easily caught than taught.

I resolve to help my students and myself stay conscious of the choices we are making.

I resolve to remember the adage, "If you want a behavior, you have to teach a behavior," and I resolve to put that adage into practice in my classroom.

I resolve to see the hurting child in the child that hurts others.

I resolve to "be" the change I wish to see in my classroom.

I resolve to talk less and listen more.

I resolve to remember that experience can be messy. I will allow my students to learn from the messes they make and the cleanup that follows.

I resolve to hold my students accountable for their actions and choices with gentleness and love. I will implement consequences consistently and allow my students to experience the related, respectful, reality-based consequences that flow directly from their actions.

I resolve to make myself dispensable and assist my students in becoming increasingly in charge of themselves and their own lives.

I resolve to refrain from making my students wrong for their choices, even as I hold them accountable for their actions.

I resolve to recognize that my students are in my life as much so I can learn from them as they are so they can learn from me. I will be open to the lessons my children offer me and honor them for helping me learn and grow.