As I enter my first full week of school, it’s all starting to come back. The battle to keep my desk organized, staying up too late discovering new teaching resources and reading blogs, and being too busy to make it to the gym. It’s time to recalibrate. In an effort to continually improve my teaching practice and to keep my work-life balance in check, I have some New School Year resolutions that I’d like to make.

  • Be completely present with my students. Take the time, even if I have a hundred things to do after class, to develop the relationships that I know are required for learning to occur.
  • Spend more quality time with my daughter and wife when I am home. By quality, I mean be present (iPhone in the pocket).
  • Work hard to get enough sleep (in bed by 11 or earlier). The stack of unread books on my nightstand may grow a little taller, but I need my rest.
  • Establish and sustain a regular exercise system (at least 2X a week). This will also allow me to finish the 3rd Dragon Tattoo book, which I only let myself read on the elliptical.
  • Discipline my Internet use. Stay focused on the task at hand. No Facebook until lesson plans, grading, and emails are done. My friends will just have to wait a little longer for my next Scrabble move.
  • Establish routines for monitoring media. Only read and respond to blogs once a week (organize them in Google Reader). Build in 30-45 minutes into my schedule every day to respond to email (and stay caught up).
  • Upgrade my personal organization system. I still haven’t found the perfect way to stay on top of tasks. My latest attempt is a combination of a weekly work plan in the Notes tab of Outlook and a list Google Tasks that appear in my Google Calendar, which I use frequently.

This is going to be a great year, especially if I can follow some of my own advice. The reality is that I struggle with many of these goals every year. And I’m guessing that I’m not alone. If anyone has any insights to share on how you start the year on a good foot, please add a comment. I’ll be sharing more about what I’ll be up to on this blog soon. But right now it’s 10:55 PM, and I have to get to bed.

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