New (School) Year's Goals

Tomorrow marks the start of my twelfth school year, and my eighth in high school. I will be teaching all senior IB English this year, as well as a section of IB Theory of Knowledge, which sounds like a dream, but the grading is absolutely unreal. We also have IB assessments to prepare for and conduct twice during the year, which are always super stressful, too. I help with our Extended Essay portion of things, which I enjoy, but it is still, obviously, more work. Between work, home, and my own interests, my plate is constantly full. Like go-to-a-delicious-buffet-and-get-all-the-food full. So, in order to keep things as manageable, efficient, and happy as possible, I've come up with some things I want to focus on for this school year:

1. Continue living and dying by my grading calendar- Just like I assign my students work, I assign myself a certain number of papers to grade each day. This made things a million times better spring semester, so I'm excited to start the year off with this habit. 

2. Summer work graded by 9/1- My students had a few assignments to do over the summer, and starting day one off being behind is hard (140ish students times 3 assignments = sad tears). I want to get it over with as soon as possible. The stuff they had to do is important, though. 

3. Lift weights at lunch- This is silly, but I am going to stash a set of 8 pound weights in my desk and do some reps at the start of lunch most days. I spend the first fifteen or so minutes before my friend joins me playing around on my phone most of the time, so even just five minutes five times a week will be 25 minutes more than I am doing now! My room is always freezing, so I don't have to worry about working up a sweat, either.

4. To bed early one night a week- I don't stay up late at all, but I think making an effort to go to bed thirty minutes early just one night a week will help. 

5. Keep track of hours- This is for purely scientific reasons, but I want to log the time I put into my job outside of my contractual day.

6. Suspend future worries- I have this tendency to start worrying about the next school year way too early (schedule, logistics, etc...). I need to hold off on that until, let's say, February or March at the earliest.

7. Build classroom library- It's pathetic, but my classroom library is pretty lean. I want to work on bulking it up this year.

8. Be less critical- I think one of the problems of working on a high school campus is that sometimes the teachers start acting like teenagers themselves at times. I am definitely guilty of picking up some less-than-stellar bad habits and I need to remember who I am and what I am doing. At the end of the day, my classroom and my students are what matters the most when I am work. This "be less critical" goal also applies to myself. I do a lot. Sometimes balls will be dropped. 

9. Test Prep- I want to make sure my students are confident and knowledgable as they go into their various IB tests this year. If they're willing to work, I most definitely am. 

10. 30 minutes straight of 100% Sawyer-time a day- For those of you who don't have kids this probably sounds so simple, but it's easy when you're a mom to multi-task playtime (sure, I'll play LEGOs with you, but I'm going to jump up to switch over laundry, or I'll hang out with you while you eat your snack, but I'm going to grade a few papers too). 

How many more days until summer?

But seriously, here's to a good school year! 


  1. Hope the school year goes well! Summer goes too fast!

  2. Good luck on your new school year! You are so right that it is so easy to try to multi-task playtime. I honestly don't want to know how many times a day I say "I'll be right back" or "Give mommy a minute, I'm checking something..."

    P.S. I don't know how much you use or check Twitter, so I figure I'll just mention here too that I sent you a DM about your classroom library.