I don’t know anyone who, at this time of year, hasn’t been thinking about starting better living habits, or searching for at least one personal promise that maybe this year she or he could keep. I certainly fit in that role, but, being the eternal optimist that I am, I have lists of promises that I hope to keep to myself. I have these resolutions broken down into two categories, personal and professional with three subcategories in each: my resolutions as a wife, mother, and individual. Professionally, I have subcategorized my resolutions this way: classroom, collegial, and professional development.
As a wife:
- I promise to be more present at home. I will put the computer down from time to time to engage in conversation with my husband. I used to tell him that I didn’t want to compete with his computer for attention, and now he has to compete with mine. Maybe we should introduce our computers to each other.
As a mother:
- I will send hand-written notes to my children occasionally in addition to all the emails and texts that I send. I don’t really know if I should designate this as a promise as a mother since it qualifies even more as a gift to myself. I realize that my emails and texts can disappear as quickly as the delete button is clicked. But, just as I am happy to have saved letters from my parents and other relatives, I’m hoping that some of my handwritten notes will be equally hard “to delete” and that maybe one or two might make it for posterity.
- I need to lighten up on myself and remember that tomorrow is another day; not everything has to be finished before I go to bed.
My being able to relax and sleep more will probably be a gift to all of us! You know, when Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!
In the classroom:
- I’m going to videotape myself teaching at least once this semester. It’s been awhile since I’ve done that. And I also promise myself to focus more on the way I perform as a teacher rather than on how I look with those extra pounds… (Ouch!)
- I’ll develop and incorporate more educational games in my classes. My students love learning that way, and how much they enjoy and learn from the games will make the work twice as worthwhile.
- I plan on using Google+ to create more opportunities, “hangouts,” for my students to communicate with each other and with me after class.
- I’ll try harder to help the students learn how they learn best and to develop in them a better self-awareness of their learning styles and strengths.
As a colleague:
- I’ll work at being a better colleague by encouraging others to speak for themselves and to trust the process.
- I will remember that I can’t control what people say or what they do, or the political climate both large and small, but I can control how I perceive and deal with it, and make it work for my institution as best I can.
For my own professional development:
- I commit to doing all of the above
- I’ll attend TESOL in Philadelphia this March.
- I look forward to developing at least one podcast and encouraging students to do the same. This will be a learning experience for me. I’ll continue to use Audioboo for pronunciation and my audio discussion board, but I’ll have the students experiment with Audacity this semester as well.
- I’ll continue to collaborate globally with Skype, Twitter, Scoop.it, and this blog.
- I will continue to work collaboratively on the development of at least one new online ESL resource .
I wish all of you success at keeping your resolutions for 2012. Keeping ourselves fresh and excited about teaching and learning, our students motivated and successful, and our families healthy and happy will surely make for a great new year.