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The New Year

I hope that you have had as restful and relaxing a holiday break as I have. After what felt like non-stop activity during the first semester, with lessons to plans, assignments to grade, and students to help, it's nice to have some time away from school. As the break winds down, I find my thoughts turning back to school.

As a teacher, I always think of the new year as beginning in September. New pencils and pens, bright classrooms, excited students...the short days of January have nothing on the fall. That said, the new calendar year can provide an opportunity to start fresh.

I used to think it was important to maintain absolute consistency. Even when systems didn't work, I kept going with them. I'd been told it was important to keep things the same, lest we confuse students. Fortunately, I've long since realized what a bad idea that is! Consistency is only a good idea if it works. Now I use the holiday break to reflect on what systems are not working well and how I can improve them in the upcoming semester.

This year, I will offer weekly lunch tutorials, so students will have a dedicated time they can get help. I'm always available by request, but having to set a time is a barrier for some of them. Hopefully, knowing they can come in every Wednesday will encourage some students who need extra support.

What changes are you thinking of? What ideas do you have that someone else might use in their class?

Michelle Hutton
CSTA President

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