Lindsay Brazell

Music Educator and Creative Professional

4 Ways Teachers Can Start Fresh In the New Year

Happy New Year, everyone!

If you are anything like me, you see the start of a new year as a reason for improvement; either to fix what seems broken, or attempt to be a better version of yourself. Personally, I think whoever decided that the school year starts before the new year was a genius, because it gives us two chances to start fresh! Here are 4 ways teachers can refresh their classroom:

1. Reflect and Revamp

As a new teacher, the second semester seems like the perfect time to re-invent my classroom, perhaps deeming it classroom 2.0. Regarding organization and instruction, there were a lot of things that worked from the start. However, there were some things that I didn’t find success in, or didn’t organize efficiently. I’ve written those items down and am creating a brief “action plan” on how to re-invent those processes. At the end of the year I will evaluate how successful those changes were and see where to go from there!

2. Get Organized (In a serious way!)

I’m a huge fan of organizational tools and productivity apps, so I’m very much looking forward to getting back to my office to relieve my desk of the hazards it has acquired. The new year is the perfect opportunity to get rid of miscellaneous mail or old papers taking up residency on your desk. The more organized I am before school starts, the better I will feel when the students come back.

I plan to write a separate post on this topic in the near future, but I have a new system of desk organization that I’m going to try inspired by a blog post by Michael Hyatt. (If you don’t read his blog, you should! Lots of productivity gems!) If you are an iPhone/ipad/Mac user if any kind, my favorite app right now is Fantastical 2. It’s a calendar and a todo list all in one, and it really brings meaning to the not-so-real word “fantastical.” I intend to write about how I use that app and others in both my professional and personal life as well.

3. Set Goals

I cringe at the term “resolution” just because it makes me think of crowds of people at a gym. I prefer to use the New Year as a time to think about what I would like to achieve in the next 12 months. This is the perfect time to set goals for yourself and your students. Here are some of my teaching goals for the semester:

  1. Earn superior ratings at concert festival in March.
  2.  Have my students learn an entire piece using only solfege and sight reading skills and never once touching a piano for their pitches. (I’m most excited about this one!)
  3. Recruit 5-10 upperclassmen boys to join chorus. (In our entire program we have 12 out of 60!!)
  4. Create a goals unit for my students in which they will set their own musical goals, monitor them, and aim to achieve them by June. I suppose my goal is for them to reach their goals! (I plan to blog about this as well!)
  5. Blog more. I think I’ve mentioned future posts three times now so I will look super slack if I don’t follow through!

4. Forgive

This may seem like an unusual or unexpected item on this list, but I think it’s important for teachers to exercise forgiveness. Perhaps there were students that gave you a difficult time or offended you. Perhaps there were faculty members that were unsupportive of your work or lacked understanding with your students. Whatever the circumstance, give those people or situations a clean slate.


So there you have it! What are some goals for your semester? Leave a comment in the space below!

About Lindsay

I’m Lindsay, a choral music educator by day, a singer-songwriter by evening, and a writer when time allows. You can find my latest album, The Room I Found – Lindsay Morelli on iTunes.

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