Step out of your comfort zone and try something new with our suggested teacher goals for the new school year!
The desks are arranged, the parent letter is still warm from the photocopier, and a smell of freshly sharpened pencils lingers in the air. Summer has come to an end, and it is time to kick off a new school year. While this may come with some jitters, taking the time to create teacher goals for the new school year will set you up for success, whether this is your first year teaching or your twentieth. Consider adding more connections to your classroom by trying one of these teacher goals for the new school year!
1. Redecorate Your Classroom
Don’t jump on Pinterest only to feel overwhelmed and inadequate. Instead, utilize STEM Jobs’ resources to create a classroom environment that will engage your students this year. You could highlight STEM careers, STEM celebrities, or even your students’ STEM Type. While this teacher goal for the new school year is a simple one, it may provide lifelong inspiration for your students!
2. Reach Across the Hall
Extend learning beyond your classroom walls with this teacher goal for the new school year. Collaborate with fellow teachers to create assignments or units that bring elements of various content areas together. Too often subjects become isolated, causing students to question how it relates to their lives. By collaborating with teachers outside of your content area, you will provide opportunities for students to make connections and apply concepts in multiple settings. Break beyond the links of STEM and work with an ELA or social studies teacher. Colleagues can even prove to be good mentors as you teach skills that you may be uncomfortable with, such as writing.
3. Focus on Careers
Take these collaborations one step further by making direct connections to STEM careers. Students may not realize the potential jobs that are available related to a topic or skill they are excited about. Make a point to discuss careers throughout each unit you teach. Ask professionals in these fields to visit your classroom for a day, whether to give a presentation, or just act as a mentor during a project work day. The first step to opening doors for your students may be just opening their eyes to the possibilities.
4. Incorporate More Images in Your Lessons
Speak our students’ language by adding elements of visual literacy to your teacher goals for the new school year. With the use of apps such as Instagram, students are communicating largely with images on a daily basis. This can be utilized in the classroom as a means of informal assessment. For example, show students an image related to the lesson topic at the start of a lesson. Ask students to make observations, inferences, and predictions based on the image in order to spark discussion. At the closing of the lesson, have students create their own image to then illustrate the key ideas in your own form of an Instagram post. This will be sure to get your students talking!
5. Connect with Other Teachers on Social Media
Find your own inspiration by connecting with other teachers and professionals on social media networks. Social media can be a valuable resource to find lessons linked to current events or trending topics, unlike a generic Google search. There are several accounts that you can follow on Linkedin and Twitter that include organizations, experts, and other professionals.
Spice up your classroom with one of these teacher goals for the new school year. Whether taking steps to make connections to careers, between content areas, or through social media, you are bound to capture the attention and interest of your students. This will serve them not only in your classroom, but beyond.
Alexandra D. Owens
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