5 New Year’s Resolutions for Educators: Set Goals, Get Organized, and Recharge

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Educators: Set Goals, Get Organized, and Recharge

The new year is a perfect time for educators to set goals, get organized, and recharge. Montessori educators are observant guides who lead students through developmentally appropriate learning experiences. As we start the new year, Montessorians can take that ability and turn it inward to observe themselves. From classroom schedules to home routines, educators can reflect on areas of their lives that need change. But, it’s important to take your time while adapting to new routines and establishing new habits.

According to Harvard Health, “creating new habits takes time and energy.” One-third of people who make resolutions give them up in a month. To avoid this, break goals down into small steps by using the SMART(er) method—a management framework that defines each goal in terms of specificity, measurability, attainability, relevancy, and timeliness. Once you have each goal’s steps worked out, flexibility and patience help with adopting a new habit. Resolutions are not an all-or-nothing game. Approach momentary lapses as an opportunity to recommit, revise, and try again, rather than as an excuse for “giving up.” Also, avoid taking on too many goals so they won’t overwhelm you.

Resolutions

When a person takes on too many goals, they can lead to none being achieved. Start with one or two resolutions. As always, talk to your doctor before trying new health routines like exercise or dietary changes. And if the new year becomes an emotional challenge, seek help. The pandemic has left educators and the populations they serve still juggling a new normal filled with protocols and procedures. Seeking extra support can make all the difference.

Get on a Schedule

Are you a planner or do you make it up as you go along? Educators are often caught on a seesaw between inflexible procedures on one end and unforeseen or unscheduled events on the other. If you’re a planner, try to remain flexible for those last-minute birthdays that no one told you about. If you’re a spontaneous person, be sure to have one or two routines to ground you and your class in consistency each and every day.

Stay on Budget

Educators sometimes spend out-of-pocket money for their students and schools. If this is you, tally up your total expenditures for the year thus far. Next add up your living expenses and sort them into necessity vs. entertainment. Talk to a finance professional for help with budgeting and to plan for retirement. Having a better handle on your budget can alleviate stress.

Recommit to Self-Care

Walk into the new year refreshed and recharged by slowing down. New routines to embrace may include meditation, reading, spending more time with family, joining a support group, etc. Making connections with people or causes you care about can be satisfying and lessen anxiety. Check in with your doctor, too. Sometimes it‘s difficult to schedule yearly physicals. But having an idea where you are health-wise can help you maintain or change habits as recommended by your professional health team.

Strive for Balance

Some educators are extremely structured and locked into routines while others are more free-wheeling and adverse to routines. Note which way you tend to swing and look for balance. For structured teachers, try a new circle time routine or say “yes” to a new opportunity. Meanwhile, more spontaneous educators can look for foundational routines to ground their day, like good morning greetings or sorting emails at the end of the day.

Learn Something New

This does not have to be full-fledged yearlong courses! Professional workshops and afterschool or weekend retreats offer educators a chance to learn new skills. In addition, many universities offer free courses known as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) like Harvard’s famous Introduction to Computer Science or Penn State’s Modern & Contemporary American Poetry. There is also much to learn on AMS Learning—an on-demand platform for professional development videos, unlimited and free for all AMS members. Whether through your professional association or an outside group, being an educator is a creative endeavor. Expanding your knowledge-base can inspire educators to try new ideas and to liven up current routines to better connect to students and families.


Changing habits is difficult, especially when there is no immediate reward. By being patient with yourself, a missed day or two does not mean the end of the New Year’s resolution, but rather part of an ongoing process to reach goals.

About the Author


V.Kulikow Montessori Life Blog Author

V. Kulikow is a former Montessori teacher and youth services librarian. She currently works as a UX designer and enjoys content creation both with words and images. On weekends you can find her gardening, taking nature photos, and working on her garden design certification through the Native Plant Trust.

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