2014 has begun and New Years Resolutions are all around us! However, have you taken a few minutes to reflect on your “educational” resolution? For this year, I plan to embrace the philosophy of “Why not?” and hope you will as well. Ultimately, how do you know if that strategy, technique or idea will work…if you don’t at least take the time to plan & try?

So, I say pick one new thing…one new idea…something you’ve heard about in the educational realm and wondered. Take a few minutes to open yourself up to trying out these unchartered waters. And when you begin to doubt your ambitious 2014 nature, stop and say, “Why not?”

Here are some suggestions: 

(1) Involve yourself in a social media website with other educators. Whether it be Edmodo, LinkedIn, Thinkfinity, Twitter, Schoology, Pinterest, etc….take a few minutes to explore at least one. Just by reading what other educators are posting and discussing online, you may feel inspired to pick up your “new thing” through the help of others.

(2) Go watch a colleague you’ve worked with and have always wanted to watch. Whether it be in your subject area or a different discipline, schedule the time with the help of your building administration, to observe your colleague for at least one class period. While visiting, take notes, ask yourself reflective questions about the strategies they use and whether or not you can implement what you see into your own practice.

(3) If your “one new idea” is costly, then it looks like grant writing is the way to go. Seek out a local or national organizations/business that supports educational institutions. Writing a grant is similar to filling out an application- you provide as much criteria as possible about what you would like to do and the purpose behind the financial necessity in your request. It is simple! The hard part is finding the right organization that will support your idea. This website is a good place to start: http://www.donorschoose.org/

(4) Pick up a copy of Dave Burgess’s Teach like a Pirate. I guarantee you will be inspired.

(5) Sign up for a Professional Development experience that is new for you! There are always plenty of ways for world language educators to learn- whether it be online or in person-you just have to find the best one for you based on your schedule. This year, I was fortunate enough to attend ACTFL and I was amazed by the amount of passionate educators I met and connected with, not to mention all the wonderful sessions I attended! As a first-time attendee, ACTFL was quite rewarding.

 

So, I ask….will 2014 also be your year of Why not?

Go for it! 🙂