I always ask my class to make two new year's resolutions on the first week back after Christmas. I generally suggest that one should be for home - keeping their bedroom tidy, not answering their parents back, that sort of thing - and the other should be for school.
Every year, I pin up slips of paper boasting promises of neater work and better behaviour in the playground. By February, I'm back to trying to decipher handwriting that looks as though it's been scrawled by a psychotic killer and putting members of the class in "time out" for administering nipple cripples, but it's nice to be optimistic.
I usually pin up my personal new year's resolution, too, but one year a pupil asked me why I didn't make one for my work life as well. I told him it was because, a bit like Mary Poppins, I am practically perfect in every professional way. But the truth is, I'd need an entire display board to house my school-related resolutions. Here are a few.
1. I will replace the emergency chocolate stash in my cupboard with a selection of seeds and berries. I will replace the emergency bottle of aprs-school gin in my fridge with mineral water. At least my skin will be glowing when my mental health goes down the pan.
2. I will refrain from removing the Blu-tack from my annoying colleague's displays so that all her posters fall down.
3. I will not think impure thoughts about the hot school vicar.
4. I will stop harassing the school cook. She is not my personal chef, and she has better things to do than perfect her chocolate concrete recipe to my liking.
5. I will stop sending nauseous children on vague missions around the school to keep them from vomiting in my classroom.
6. I will write all my reports quickly and efficiently. I will not spend four weeks moaning, then sit up writing until 4am the night before they're due crying into a packet of ProPlus.
7. I will stop being competitive with my class. My poem is better than theirs because I am 36.
8. Sending children to ask colleagues for buckets of steam or sky hooks is not in the curriculum and is a waste of everybody's time.
9. I will use the correct terminology: "self-directed learning that happens to fall at the end of the week", not "Feet-up Friday".
10. I will use my school keys responsibly. We are given them to allow us to put up displays at the weekend if we need to, not so that we can sneak in for a quick go on the ropes in the gym when the mood takes us.
11. Circle time does not exist for me to "work through my issues".
12. PE is not an opportunity for me to fulfil my dreams of being in Fame. I do not require leg warmers.
13. When running the tombola stall at the summer fair, I will not remove all the losing tickets so that I can go home early.
14. Lastly, I will stop writing articles for TES that will eventually render me unemployable (maybe).
Lisa Jarmin is a supply teacher in the North West of England