George Lucas Educational Foundation

No Day But Today: One-Day Teaching Resolutions

No Day But Today: One-Day Teaching Resolutions

More Related Discussions
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share
Silhouette of a person at the top of a hill watching the sun rise

The final line in Finale B of the Broadway musical Rent is “No Day But Today.” Having recently turned 50, those four simple words have a deeper meaning in my personal life and I think they can help us make small changes in our teaching lives, too. On my desk, I have a yellowed copy of Dear Abby’s column entitled “One-Day Resolutions Set Examples All Year Long.” I often reread the column when I’m feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work I need to complete, or want to refocus my energy on what is important. Here is my adaptation of Dear Abby’s resolutions, specifically for teachers.

One-Day Teaching Resolutions 

JUST FOR TODAY, I will focus solely on my students. I will savor the small moments of classroom life and jot down my students’ brilliant thinking in my notebook because, even though I think I will remember their exact words, they sometimes slip away. 

JUST FOR TODAY, I will slow down the pace. I will take my time as I read aloud and leave plenty of time for students to engage in conversations. I will listen when one of my students wants to tell me the never-ending story of how he lost his tooth. I will stop looking at the clock (unless it is time for lunch or specials!) and let the flow of the day guide students’ learning.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will reflect on the learning that has occurred so far this year. I will think back to where my students started and pat myself on the back for everything I’ve done to support them as they’ve grown.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will think about those students “in the middle” who I don’t spend as much time with as those who demand my attention for other reasons. I will spend the day noticing and thanking them for their hard word and kind actions.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will make it a point to chat with a colleague and get to know him or her better. I will check in on the new members of our staff to see how they are doing and ask if there is anything I can do to support them.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will send a note of thanks to a teacher, mentor, or other individual who has positively impacted my teaching life. I know that this small gesture will make a big difference in that person’s day.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will leave my overflowing “school bag” at school. I will go home and do something fun with my family so that I can talk and write about it with my kids the next day.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will appreciate the joys of spending my days surrounded by children. Their smiles, laughter, and boundless energy keep me young. I will remind myself that I’ve been given a precious gift—the ability to shape young lives.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will remember there is “No Day But Today.”

If you were to add a one-day resolution to my list, what would it be?

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

Comments (4) Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Conversations on Edutopia (4) Sign in or register to comment

Margaret Shafer's picture
Margaret Shafer
Third grade teacher in the Midwest

Here was mine today: Just for today I will cut short my lesson plans to help kids reflect on the day and celebrate small victories.

Maria, I went to one of your sessions at last year's first grade conference and loved it. I shared what I learned with colleagues and passed your book to a friend when I switched grade levels. Your influence goes out like ripples in a pond.

Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal, Author of Facilitating Authentic Learning, Director of the Antioch Critical Skills Program; Elementary Library Media Specialist

I like this so much. I think we can get so overwhelmed with all the things we think we should be doing ALL THE TIME and then we're brutal with ourselves when we fall short. I like this idea of a one day resolution. Even I can keep a resolution for that long! I think this piece links well to Katie's The Grit to Jump Hurdles & Grace to Recover From Them ( Edutopia should totally put all of these great things together into a book, shouldn't they?

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Engagement Manager

M Smith, I love your resolution. Reflection is so important, and there's more and more pressure to give students less time to do it.

Laura, hmm.... ;-)

Katie Schellenberg, JD, MA's picture
Katie Schellenberg, JD, MA
Advocate, Lawyer, Teacher and Founder of Beyond Tutoring

Thanks @Laura for linking me up! I was just going to write how much I enjoyed this piece! And I have the "One Day More" song from Les Mis in my head with my own resolutions.

Sign in to comment. Not a member? Register.