I’m not a big resolution-maker, and I’m not for setting myself up to be a big resolution breaker either. Here are a few low-key resolutions—or reminders—to myself on the eve of 2013.

1. Listen longer before responding.

2. Ask more questions.

3. Listen to more music. Buy a few good albums.

4. Try to plan due dates for student work around days when I’ll actually have time to review the students’ work. Schedule the review time.

5. Spruce up my classroom environment seasonally. Find something deliciously wintery to decorate when we get back—better yet, have students make it. I always invest a lot of time in my classroom environment in September, but forget to reinvigorate it later in the year.

6. Write, or don’t write. But avoid thinking about writing, and not writing.

7. Learn how to subscribe to blogs, so I can read and comment on my favorite bloggers’ blogs more regularly. (Yeah, I still don’t get the whole RSS feed thing; I mostly use Twitter as a feed but I miss a lot that way.)

8. Email people back right away whenever possible. A quick response is better than a lengthy, delayed one or none at all. Every piece of writing does not need to become a “project” in my head.

9. Dont be afraid to make the case for something I feel strongly about. Don’t hide my true beliefs behind the guise of being diplomatic or fair-minded. That’s not what diplomacy and fairmindedness are. Everyone has a right to voice his or her perspective—including me. I can respect others’ opinions without agreeing with them. And I actually show others more respect by speaking up when I disagree than by holding it silently. Even worse, don’t be “lazy” to make the argument. This is a sign of not caring. If that doesn’t match my actual feelings, then something is amiss. Speak up.

10. Keep getting to know my students. I’ve only known them a few months, really. Don’t create fixed ideas in my mind about who they are. Give them the space to change—they are 13; they tend to do that. Keep a big heart for them. Bring food sometimes. Every interaction—whether instructional or casual—counts more than I realize.

Happy New Year! I’d love links to your New Year’s posts or comments about your own reminders.


[image credits: paulawiseman.com, http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewendyhouse/411993081/]

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