New (School) Year’s Resolutions

Posted on September 25, 2012 by

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For this cleverly named post, thanks to one of my fellow blogger’s creativity, I decided to take three of the most common resolutions and put a little spin on them for things that I hope to achieve this year in school.

  1. Exercise more: Exercise my mind, that is! Not only do I see my time in school as an opportunity to help students with their English, but also as an opportunity for me to learn more Georgian, meet more people, and have more conversations. Often, as I’m sure other TLGers can agree, too much time is lost due to a lack of language understanding. Perhaps there’s a word that no one can translate, or an idea that can’t take shape without mutual understanding. Even on a smaller scale, it’s hard to sit in the teacher’s room drinking coffee without being able to understand a single word and, as someone who loves conversation, I constantly want to both understand and contribute. So this school year, I plan to expand my Georgian vocabulary by taking some time each day to learn new words. I also plan to expand my collegiate social circle by making the attempt at conversation.
  2. Save more, spend less: Time. Much of last year’s class time was spent trying to get kids in their seats, asking the boys in the back of the room to be quiet, dealing with confusions in the lesson plan with co-teachers, or trying to locate a student’s book or pencil. This year, I’ve planned ahead a little better, with both rules and disciplinary actions approved and shared with co-teachers. Additionally, the first day of each class was spent writing down these rules and reviewing them. This year, instead of tentatively begging kids to be quiet so that we can move on with the lesson, I plan on asserting a more strict code of classroom etiquette, one that if not followed, will have immediate consequences.  Example Rules (Thanks TLG, for some ideas):
    1. Follow directions
    2. Keep hands, feet, and other objects to yourself
    3. Raise your hand and wait to be called on
    4. Speak and act kindly towards others
    5. Come to class prepared and participate in classroom activities

    *It is best to have a co-teacher translate these rules. I also enjoy asking the students what each rules means to them, often watching them act them out. It reinforces the rules, and makes for a fun classroom activity.

    As for the time spent in the confusion over lesson planning, it’s a goal of mine this year to go into each class sharing with my co-teacher an exact plan of what is to be accomplished, and how we will approach doing that. Here, you can find a link for an example lesson plan:

  3. Join a gym: Or start an afterschool club. Here’s an outline of how I plan to approach this one:

    1.   Start brainstorming.

    i.     What kind of club do I want this to be? English? Soccer? Frisbee?

    ii.     Who do I want to participate? Students range from ages 6-18, and their ability levels do as well.

    iii.     When do I want the club to start, and on what days do I want it to take place?

    iv.     Where will the club and corresponding activities be held?

    2.   Write up a proposal that includes:

    i.     Date, time, and location

    ii.     Description of club, including activities that will take place

    iii.     Goals and Objectives

    iv.     Plans for advertising the club

    3.   Get support!

    i.     Ask a co-teacher to run/co-host the club with me

    ii.     Present the idea to my school director and get approval

    iii.     Advertise and start a list of kids who have signed up

Hopefully my resolutions for the year are untraditional in that I don’t forget about them three weeks in. Happy Holid.….teaching!