School started and things just aren’t going as planned. Your class routine is a mess, and your students aren’t working in groups the way you thought. And oh yeah, you’re already exhausted. Does this sounds faintly familiar? It’s okay if it does; you aren’t alone. Luckily, it doesn’t have to stay this way.
The start of the school year is exciting, but it can also feel a little overwhelming when your picture perfect class isn’t picture perfect. A rough start to the year can set a bad tone for what’s to come for the next 9-10 months if you don’t turn it around quickly. You have the power to make it better though! Changing how your mindset, behaviors, and goals can shift the year from rough to great!
Here are a few of my favorite approaches and changes that will help you bounce back from that rough start and get your year back into awesome territory!
When things go wrong, be willing to use them as learning experiences instead of looking at them as failures. Taking a bad day or failed lesson and learning from your mistakes will make you a better teacher. Be thankful that you are able to learn and grow from the mistakes. Having a growth mindset will change your attitude from defeated to ready to try again.
Your original plan for the year might be on a path to disaster. It stinks, but be willing to be flexible. If you refuse to change, there’s a good chance you’ll spend the year in a miserable battle trying to fit a circle into a square hole. Until you know your students and your class dynamics, it’s hard to know exactly what will work. Now that you’ve got to know your students and classes, think about what might need to change based on students abilities, interests, ect.
Solution based thinking
When a problem arises, instead of complaining focus on looking for solutions. Think of it as a challenge or a puzzle to solve, and you’ll change the negative mindset to be more positive. Who doesn’t like a good challenge?!
Reflect daily and look for trends
Think about what went well, and what needs improved daily. Be honest and objective. When you do this daily, you may see trends of what triggers off task behaviors or what engages students. If every time you do a certain activity students act out then maybe there is something with this activity that you need to adjust to improve your lesson.
Acknowledge the good
It’s easy to get stuck in a negative outlook when the year starts off bad, but make an effort to acknowledge the good things daily. Looking for the good will help turn your mindset around, and you’ll feel more positive in general. Mind over matter.
Create goals with small obtainly steps
Having big goals for the school year is great, but how are you going to get there? When you have only a large goal that takes awhile to reach, it can become defeating and feel like you’re failing. Break large goals into small ones that you can meet often. Meeting these small goals will make you feel like you are getting somewhere quicker and lift your mood. Focus your goals on the things that aren’t going great, and use your solution based thinking to create the small goals for these areas.
Ask for help
Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s the smart and mature thing to do when you really need it. Be willing to seek out people and resources to be successful. No one can do it on their own, and you’ll find a lot of people gladly willing to help at your school or online.