It is that time of year again when many people make their New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, many of those resolutions fail for a multitude of reasons. Two common challenges are that the goals are sometimes unrealistic or there may be a lack of support for the goals. With those considerations in mind, I’ve created a list of possible New Year’s resolutions for educators along with possible support networks for them. Change: Begin to replace outdated or irrelevant print materials with more rigorous online resources.
- Support: Don’t throw out all of the resources you currently have. It may be better to target just one course, or only portions of a course.
- Support: Find another educator who teaches similar content and ask them to do the same thing and share resources with one another.
Change: Create or expand your personal learning network.
- Support: Schedule a 15 minute block once each week to build your network.
- Support: Find someone who has created a successful PLN to ask about recommended resources. If you can find someone with similar interests, that will be more helpful.
Change: Implement an online/virtual component to a course that expands the learning experience for students. You could partially flip the classroom, bring in virtual guest speakers, or collaborate with another class from a different location.
- Support: Chat with another teacher at your school or elsewhere who has implemented some of these items.
- Support: Recruit students to help with the technical aspects of these items.
- Support: Ask your administration for class coverage so you can observe another class. Although you couldn’t do this all of the time, most administrators would be happy to do this a couple of times.
Change (Administrator Specific): Provide specific feedback to teachers around the ways they are using technology.
- Support: Identify an “expert” who can help you with your initial walk-throughs.
- Support: Identify a simple, easy to understand vocabulary that you can use to provide feedback. Bernajean Porter’s Spectrum is a favorite of mine!
It certainly isn’t realistic or healthy to try to implement all of these changes at once. However, these items by themselves are things that can be implemented with some effort and commitment. Good luck and Happy New Year!