In our culture, the start of the new year is a time of setting new goals, not only in personal matters like diet and exercise, but in business, work, and school.
But you can’t make reasonable and achievable goals without reflecting on past efforts to achieve goals. What worked and to what extent? Why did some fail?
Without that information, it’s a lot harder to turn past failures into future successes.
As you prepare for homeschooling in the new year, review last year’s planner, month by month or week by week. Can you apply your successes in one subject to another? Can the same approach work with different personalities or grade levels?
Do you know what to do to turn last year’s failures into this year’s successes? At a quiet time, review your notes, reflect, and based on that, set your goals for the new year.
There are two keys to success in teaching: 1) creative experimentation with new resources, and 2) careful notetaking on what worked, what didn’t, and why.
For the first, you only have to keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. For the second, keep a teacher’s journal of notes on lessons done. They can be written in the margins of your daily planner: what you tried that day, how it went, how you modified it, and so on.
Don’t wait to jot down your notes on a lesson because you’ll forget the specifics, and they'll be less useful to you.
When you see that same type of lesson again later, you’ll know how to handle it much more easily. Your teaching will get better quickly as you develop your own personal “bag of tricks,” and your confidence will soar!
If you haven’t kept a teaching journal in the past, start now. Those notes — the data you collect on your teaching experiences with your kids — are invaluable.