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New Year’s Resolutions are tough. It feels like I am setting myself up for failure when I make them; so I either hedge my bets by making slight ones or avoid the whole idea. That does not seem like a good example I am setting as an educator, does it?

But as an educator we have a different “new year” celebration of hope and new starts which we call August {I miss calling it September}. So as the non-educators set New Year Resolutions teachers can at least check in on their August goals and see what lessons remain to teach to make this a successful year.

second semester lessons SQ

It is about January when a teacher realizes these students will be moving on at the end of the coming spring. The evaluation of if they are ready has begun! Not so much with the content, although that is a reality, but with the thought to are they an age-appropriate independent learner? Are they able to learn on and apply it to real life? Will they feel safe to take more risks, to ask more questions, to learn more in the future regardless of their next teacher? What lessons do I need to teach this second semester?

While the world is busy making resolutions, teachers are evaluating the most important ‘lesson’ to teach their students in the time left this school year.

Teach Confidence in the Process of Learning

Even if your students go to the most controlling teacher next year, they can learn, it is important to keep learning, and students are in charge of their effort in learning. All teachers want autonomous learners, they are built in someone’s second semester. When a teacher allows for chances at independent learning, structured research, scaffolded projects the lesson is you can learn on your own. Teach them the formula for seeking knowledge and then let them practice the small parts in isolation so they can ultimately bring them together at the age-appropriate level.

The lesson of confidence that they can learn.

Teach them how to Find Out

Your students may have a future teacher who does all the thinking for them. But your students will have questions independent of even the most over-thinking educator. Take time this semester to help them practice age-appropriate ways that they can conduct their own research; Include technologies, people, and places where they can find their own information.

The lesson of how to learn independent of school.

Teach how to Question Respectfully

Now that you and your students know each other well is the time to teach them how to respectfully question their peers and their teachers. Careful here, don’t earn a reputation in the next grade or in your department – civility is an important nuance here. But students need the skill of how to respectfully offer alternatives, questions assumptions, and express a different point of view.

The lesson of how to question.

These students will be moving on at the end of the coming spring. Are they ready? Have you taught them the skills to move on?

What other things do students need to learn to be successful on life?