Happy New Year! What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

For most people, when you hear screams of, “Happy New Year!”, you think about Auld Lang Syne, and a champagne bottle popping and fizzing. You reflect on the past year, and you make personal promises to yourself to be better at everything you do. You hit the gym, you hit the books, you hit the pavement, and you give life the very best you have. You float around with a feeling of excitement because it is a brand-new start!

For school and district leaders, this New Year’s celebration happens now, right at the end of July. Instead of Auld Lang Syne and popping and fizzing, we hear fight songs and pencil sharpeners. We smell freshly waxed floors, and we see wide, bright smiles on the faces of our coworkers, our school leaders, and most importantly, our students. But there is one thing the two New Years have in common, and that is the opportunity for a fresh start.

So, what’s your New Year’s Resolution, school leaders? Here are three LOVING suggestions around how to set reasonable and healthy New Year’s Resolutions to ensure your positive changes can sustain the test of time. It all starts with YOU!

Love yourself.

Take care of your mind. We spend so much time challenging our teachers and students that sometimes we forget to challenge ourselves. Your brain needs attention, too! How do you like to exercise your brain? You can commit to a crossword puzzle or a word search. You can carve out 20 minutes each day to read something unrelated to your work. Maybe you like to play video games, or mind puzzles. Whatever it is, your brain needs time each day to work out. 

Take care of your body. You only get one body, and it is your responsibility to take care of it. School leadership life can be busy, and if you are also a parent or a caregiver to elderly adults, it is even busier. It only takes a few minutes a day to get the blood pumping enough that you feel a difference in your mental health. Try to make it to the gym or a HIIT class, or even a slow flow vinyasa class at least two days per week. If you can’t do that, then commit to at least 60 minutes of cardio a week.  It doesn’t matter how that looks, just get moving! Walk the school playground during your lunch break and get your fix of student interaction at the same time, volunteer to take a PE class and participate in the activity with the students, shut your office door, play your favorite song, and dance. Just find a way to MOVE! 

Take care of your soul. “Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well, with my soul.” – Psalm 46. Say your prayers or meditate every day. Submit to a greater purpose. Love others with all your heart. Assume the best in others and force yourself to smile even when you want to cry. Except for a tragedy, most hard moments are just that: moments that are hard. They don’t last. When you get to the other side of the hard moment with a smile on your face, you teach yourself to persevere. If you find yourself navigating too many hard moments each day, ask for help. Seek help from a friend, coworker, God, a counselor or a leader. But seek help. 

Love your teachers and students.

Take care of their minds. Challenge them to achieve at levels they never imagined.  Force them to engage in productive struggles. Encourage your teachers to follow the data, follow the curriculum, follow the standards. Use the tools you have in your schools to keep your students engaged. Do not accept excuses. If you love your teachers, love them through the hard work so that they can feel and see success.

Take care of their bodies. Kids can’t sit for long periods of time without getting tired, distracted, or outright belligerent, and teachers secretly feel the same way! Refer to best practices and encourage teachers to plan lessons that ensure students (and teachers) are moving periodically throughout the lesson. Incorporate staff wellness initiatives that give permission to staff to focus on their well-being. 

Take care of their souls. Sure, we cannot encourage or even suggest a particular religion or belief to our teacher or our students. But we certainly can listen to their needs and ensure their mental well-being is of the utmost importance. If you see a  teacher is struggling emotionally, seek to understand his or her needs and be their voice. Sometimes, new teachers don’t even know they need to talk about fears or anxiety around classroom expectations. As a school or district leader, you can identify their needs and intervene. 

Love your vocation.

YOU have been called into the most powerful vocation in the world! YOU are the way maker! YOU mold all other professions. Your job is the most important job in the world. Without school and district leaders and teachers, there are no other jobs.  You TEACH teachers! 

Think about all the people you ran into today. You started your morning by grabbing a cup of coffee from the local coffee house. Your barista had teachers. You stopped to gas up your vehicle. The clerk had teachers. You ran into the local store to pick up supplies for your child’s class project today. The guy stocking the shelves had teachers. You passed by the custodian cleaning a spill on the floor. The custodian had teachers. You brought your mom to her doctor’s appointment. The doctor had teachers. Afterwards, you dropped your son off at soccer practice. The coach had teachers. 

Each of these people made a difference in your day. And they were all molded to be who they are by a teacher just like YOU! You are the GOAT! Act like it. When people ask you if you like you like your job, proudly exclaim, “Oh, heck no! I LOVE MY JOB! I MAKE A DIFFERENCE!” 

All we need is love.

The Beatles said it best. All we need is love. You are about to begin a brand-new year! A successful new year is all up to you. Just remember:




Happy New Year from all of us at 806 Technologies. And by the way, we all had teachers, too. Thank you for your service, teachers!

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