Tag Archives: resolutions

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Photo courtesy of phillipsandwich on Flickr.

I don’t usually make New Year resolutions but I’m considering it. Resolutions pertaining to my role as an educator.

I’ve been spending a enormous amount of my personal time online – either reading, commenting, writing, on Flickr, Twitter, nings, my own 3 blogs, wikis (both maintaining my own and following others), a ridiculous number of groups, and trying to keep up with some of the obscenely long list of subscriptions in my Google Reader. This exercise has been the result of me jumping in, having a go, experimenting to feel for potential.

Next year is hopefully going to be different. I’d like to have more control so that I don’t feel as if I’m drowning, be more discerning and selective so that I’m not as tired or overwhelmed, and always ask ‘why am I doing this?’ and ‘is this adding value to the educational experience’.

Is this a realistic promise? I’m not sure at this point. Although I’ve really pulled back during these holidays, and I feel the benefits of this in terms of creating some headspace, I’ve also recently added Edublog winners’ urls to my rss feed. I’ve talked about not restarting a 365 photo challenge in 2010 but then joined the group EdTech 365/2010.

It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to require discipline and determination.

In terms of integrating technology into teaching and learning, I’m not going to try to change the way people think or behave. Did I really think I could change the way things operate in my school? If I did, then I was deluded. Do I think I can make a difference? You bet I do, otherwise there would be no point in me being there, or anyone else for that matter. But the difference will be in a very small way with one or two people. My resolution will be to stop spreading myself thin while my head is swivelling 360 degrees in case I miss something, and settle on less but with more depth and lots of evaluation.

I’ll make it clearer that I’m not advocating technology for its own sake, that it’s not necessarily always the best platform and, as Maria and I discovered when we taught year 7 English within a ning, it requires many more hours of teaching support and good plain discussion, and even some old-fashioned, hands-on activities, in order to make it meaningful and balanced. Our ning was never about technology, it was about connection and interaction.

On an emotional level – and I’m not sure how I’m going to do this, but it’s worth a try – I hope to take things less personally (that’ll be a first), care less about the details of things, take up fewer battles, respect difference of opinion, and understand that not everyone wants to put as much in, and that’s okay.

For anyone who reads this blog, I wish you a rich and balanced year, with new inspiration and connections with people. Since I started operating within Web 2.0 platforms for my personal and professional learning, by far the most enriching benefits have been the personal connections with people from whom I’ve learned much and with whom I”ve shared even more.

Photos courtesy of VIRGOSAMARA. Book title translates as ‘With my own eyes”.

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Filed under 21st century learning, technology

I don’t like New Year resolutions

butterfly

As the title says, I don’t like New Year resolutions. I don’t like any resolutions. I’m not in the habit of making promises either. I don’t make promises because I’m not sure I’m going to keep them. What I prefer to do is say nothing, resolve secretly – allowing room for backing off – and only say yes when I’ve already succeeded. I don’t like to raise hopes, I don’t like to disappoint.  Not even myself.

The blogosphere has been changing its timbre for the Christmas and New Year period. Serious educational posts have given way to reflective, stocktaking and thanksgiving ones; posts summing up 2008 and looking ahead to 2009.

I started thinking… if I were to consider new year resolutions, what would they be?

There’s no reason for my resolutions to be any different to anyone else’s – after all, we have the same needs and aspirations. If I ever did make resolutions – and I’m not saying I will – they might be the following:

1.  Act my age – Since I’m turning 50 this year I’m thinking more about mortality. Not meaning to sound morbid, but we don’t live forever. Time is becoming precious and it would be reckless of me not to notice my downhill inclination. I need to make a conscious decision to stay healthy. Even as I say this I know that exercise will not be on my agenda, but a little self control wouldn’t go astray in looking after my body; it doesn’t seem as invincible as it used to be.

2.  Community – I’ve always been an introverted person, happy with my own company and a few close others. Maybe it takes me that long to charge, to figure out who I am and what I want from life. Now is the time to connect, appreciate what others have to offer, give something back.

3.  Creativity – I’m ready to be more creative, to realise how creativity is a life-force I can’t live without (without sounding too dramatic). Creativity can be expressed in many different ways, all of them worthwhile.

4.  Letting go of old fears – There’s nothing to fear but fear itself. One by one I hope to let go of fears that paralyse. The fear of making mistakes, of looking stupid, of being different, of being rejected, of not being good enough, of the unknown. What a waste of time.

5.  Time is precious – that means learning to say no, not wasting time moping, being lazy, procrasting, following an unthinking routine. It means appreciating what is good, people who matter, enriching experiences. Not taking things for granted, saying thankyou, saying sorry, organising people events.

Only a little more than half a year ago did I start this blog, then gradually make  connections with people around the world online through blog reading and commenting, through Twitter and PLNs. Thankyou to everyone for enriching my life, for conversations, advice and help, humour, and making me realise that we have so much in common wherever we are. I wish everyone and their families a blessed new year, and look forward to our conversations in 2009.

Think about what you wish for – you might get it.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also – Luke 12:34.

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Filed under Musing