I don't know if you are among the estimated two thirds of us who will make resolutions this year. Thinking of our resolutions is hard but keeping them is even harder with about a third of those who make resolutions saying that they have broken them by the end of January.
The kind of resolutions people usually make revolve around improving our health, relationships or developing new skills or talents. Here are a few suggestions for us as teachers based on some of the most popular new year resolutions made every year..
Lose some weight and get fit...All of us can become a bit lazy and get stuck in a rut doing the same things in the same way. Perhaps a new year is a time for us to take stock of our teaching and consider if we have become a bit sluggish. Does our practice need a bit of exercise or a change of habits. The problem can be where to start or where we get the motivation to change from but we have a wealth of inspiration and resources around us everyday in our colleagues.
Travel more, try new things and experience different cultures...Why not do a bit oif travelling in school. Take a walk down the corridor or across the building into someone else's classroom and see what is going on. Look at a different subject area from ours, We might find something different, something we could use in our own teaching.
Starting a new hobby...According to studies hobbies can add variety and enjoyment to daily life. Through them we can meet new people and develop new skills and they can also improve our mental health and self-confidence. So why not take a CPD course to Learn new skills. Stranmillis University or organisations like Future Learn offer a wide range of short courses that can develop our classroom practice or just develop our personal well-being or just us as people.
Read More... Lots of people, including myself, have a goal every year of reading more. But how many of us only get so far as buying the books or maybe we even start reading a book but we never get round to finishing them. The excuse is often there’s no time, I'm tired, or I need to switch off in the evenings instead of sitting down to reading a book. I have to confess that I have a pile of partially read books on how to improve my teaching. That is more of a reflection on me than the books as I have gained a lot from books such as Making Every Lesson Count and I have others on my Amazon wish list. Perhaps you don't have the time to sit down and read a book but we can still gain a lot from reading good educational blogs such as ClassTeaching or UKEdChat or sign up to The Echo Chamber or even better follow @BGSTeachBetter on Twitter for a brief snapshot of what is going on in education. Perhaps you could even take this a stage further and write your own educational blog.
Be kinder...Improving our relationships with people often feature on New Year resolution lists and so you might think I am going to encourage us all to be kinder to our students. However, I am going to say we need to be kinder to ourselves. A new year and a busy term lies in front of all of us and the pressure of our job can often cause us to neglect ours own well-being and to be too hard on ourselves. So I am going to finish this with a very cheesy quote from a Winnie the Pooh movie when Christopher Robin tells Pooh
"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think,"