We can’t say we envy 2021.
It’s got the hopes and dreams of all of us riding on its shoulders — and while we have faith it will deliver better and brighter times, we also know that educators, kids, and schools have been through a lot that can’t easily be undone.
Focusing on what can be done, though, is how we pulled through 2020. And it’s how we will continue to come out on top in 2021, even and especially on the days that feel impossible.
We’ve created this list of resolutions for the new year based on the lessons you have taught us in previous ones about resilience, about staying hopeful and committed to kids, and about making magic out of ordinary days. We hope they will help keep you grounded this year in kids, in joy, and in the transformational role you play in creating a better future for us all.
Wipe the slate clean. We all have days from the past year that we wish we could do over. We can’t turn back the clock, but we can use the start of 2021 as a reason to let it all go. Wherever you feel like you fell short last year is officially old business that has no bearing on the present.
One day at a time. Think of each day as an opportunity for improvement, however tiny, over the day before. Stay grounded in what you can do that day to make progress for yourself and your kids. It may be something huge — a phonics breakthrough or an ‘aha!’ math moment — or something small, like drinking more water throughout the day. Whatever it is, it matters, and each day will add up to some pretty incredible wins.
Prioritize play. We need to play. Whether it’s Legos, puzzles, Blokus, cookie decorating, or a dance competition, playtime is now mandatory and non-negotiable. Build playtime into the schedule for you and your kids every day and make sure to stick to it. (Even if you’re stuck inside in winter, here’s how to use household items to create an indoor playground of your kids’ dreams.)
Renew your commitment to your kids every day. Your dedication to making sure kids get the education they deserve during this time of Covid is truly heroic. Our kids only get one childhood, and it’s up to us to make sure they get the most of it. Every morning, remind yourself that the new day is an incredible opportunity to help your kids lay the groundwork for their future. It’s some of the most important work you can take on, and it will pay dividends for decades to come.
Appreciate your colleagues. Gratitude has benefits for both the thanked and the thankful. Take a few minutes each day or week to shout out a colleague who has overcome an obstacle, made progress that you noticed, helped someone out, or who could just use a bit of love and appreciation. It’ll bring a smile to their face, and one to yours, too.