Get Ready for 2022!

As a serial goal setter, New Years is one of my favorite holidays. Whether it’s reviewing my Top Songs of 2021 on Spotify, or color coordinating my 2022 desk calendar – this time of year excites me! Seriously – if it involves a new planner or a package of Paper Mate Flair pens – I’m in! Anyone relate? These 5 steps have helped me get out of the winter break slump and return to work feeling refreshed and ready to go!

Word of the Year

I always start by picking a Word of the Year. For 2021, I chose “savor.” As a new Director, new wife and new mom – I needed a word that would encourage me to slow down and take in each moment. When selecting a Word of the Year, try to visualize the best version of myself. Take some time to do that now – what do you see? List out words that describe your vision, then decide what word connects with you most. You’ll know when you’ve found your perfect word for 2022.

Spark Joy

Does your workspace resemble Marie Kondo, The Home Edit, or could it be featured on an episode of Hoarders? Organizing and decluttering my space is imperative! Whether your space is your home, your classroom, or your office – does it encourage cluttered thoughts or a clear mind? I love using the 7 Steps for Setting Up a Stellar Autism Room as a guide for this!

Embrace Some Change

Still using the same morning warm-up? Classroom jobs becoming too repetitive? Think through your typical routine and find ways to spice it up! Are there different ways you can present tasks to your students or develop your staff instead of the same-old tired plans? While it’s awesome to find things that we know work – the New Year is a perfect time to trial out some new ideas, too!

Let’s Talk Data!

State testing is around the corner – are your students ready? In Virginia, our special educators are preparing students for standardized tests and the new VAAP (Virginia Alternative Assessment Program). Don’t let grades, IEP data, SMART goals and state testing get you down – check in on your data and due dates and construct a plan to help your students and staff make it to the finish line.

Build Relationships

After winter break, some of you may be returning to the same students and some may be getting all new ones! Either way – it’s a perfect time to review classroom expectations and procedures, while also providing your students a time to get to know each other and connect again. Provide time in your schedule for games and socializing to strengthen your classroom community!

Stephanie Kennedy, M.Ed
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