Teacher resolutions for positive changes in your 2016 STEM classroom

It is the time of year when everyone reflects on their lives and vows to make positive changes for themselves or others with New Year’s resolutions. Rather than falling back on resolutions to hit the gym or eat well, make some teacher resolutions! This will not only bring a positive change in your life, but also in the lives of your students.

Check out our top ten teacher resolutions for 2016 and start your year off with a bang!

Teacher Resolution #1: Flip Your Classroom

Take the leap by creating a flipped classroom. This structure literally flips what is viewed as the traditional classroom format. The students complete lessons at home so the classroom can become a place for activities, projects, and lively discussions. While this means a shift in your role, students are highly motivated by taking responsibility for their own learning.

Teacher Resolution #2: Apply for Grants

Our school budgets are usually tight. Raise additional funds for your next classroom project by applying for STEM grants. There are many organizations and corporations out there that want to fund STEM education; all we need to do is ask! Think beyond money and ask for supplies. Get your students involved in the writing process to add a personal touch. And don’t forget about yourself! Grants are a great way to fund professional development.

Teacher Resolution #3: Become a 21st Century Teacher

Incorporate 21st century learning in your classroom to become a 21st century teacher. By doing so, you will prepare your students for success in future STEM careers. This includes the 4 C’s: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity, which are major STEM skills that are best developed in STEM subjects.

Teacher Resolution #4: Use Project-Based Learning

Get your students to think critically and creatively with project-based learning (PBL). PBL can be used in any subject, including language arts and social studies. Check out these examples in an economics and earth science classroom.

Teacher Resolution #5: Help Students Overcome Math Anxiety

Math can cause stress for many students. Make efforts to reduce their math anxiety by helping them see growth and to celebrate their small successes. Modeling a growth mindset can go a long way. Another tip is to move away from memorization and focus on conceptual understanding and real-world application instead. This will help to make math more approachable and less intimidating.

teacher resolutions

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Teacher Resolution #6: Learn Something New

Become a better educator by taking some free online courses. Many sites, including Coursera, edX, and SkilledUp, offer free courses and workshops from universities around the globe. By taking the time expand your knowledge base, you will expand the learning of your students.

Teacher Resolution #7: Become a STEM Leader

Strive to be a trend-setter in your building by becoming a STEM leader. This will not only improve your own confidence, but also inspire your students and colleagues to do the same. Reach out to professionals in your community and develop partnerships. This will help bring real-world applications into your classroom. Strive to incorporate creativity and project-based learning to further develop your students’ 21st century skills. Staying current with STEM education trends will set you apart as a role model and STEM leader for your school.

Teacher Resolution #8: Get Girls Engaged in STEM

Girls can often feel overshadowed in the world of STEM. Help get them engaged and excited in any STEM field. Arm them with tools and information to get involved. Provide mentors and female role-models, such as Danica McKellar. Check out these tips for developing female engineers, mathematicians, and coders.

Teacher Resolution #9: Bring Back the Fun

Get your students engaged and motivated by using games. Game-based learning is a great way to challenge your students with problem solving and real-world applications. This can include traditional games with cards or dice, or interactive computer games. Cool math games for girls in particular can get girls involved with math and open their minds to a possible career in mathematics.

Teacher Resolution #10: Reflect on Your Teaching

Take time to step back and evaluate your teaching. Reflective teaching is a practice that allows you to actively improve your lessons and methodology in order to better yourself and your students. This can include maintaining a teaching journal, debriefing with colleagues, or simply making adjustments throughout the day. Get your students involved by asking them to reflect as well. This will bring your attention to what does and doesn’t work in your classroom to ensure future success.

While getting in shape and changing your eating habits are important goals, try making a resolution that will change many lives this year. Share your teacher resolutions with us on twitter or in the comment section below!