Tuesday, January 01, 2008


I’m really not a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions; it seems rather arbitrary to choose January 1st as the day to make changes. Since it’s customary, however, for lots of folks to make resolutions this time of year, I’ll join in. But before I think about this year’s resolution(s), I suppose I should reflect back on last year’s resolution and see how I did. Hmm.
Change the world.
Well, I was very careful to not indicate whether I was going to change the world for the better or for the worse – I felt like that gave me more opportunity for success in achieving the resolution. Certainly last year was eventful, with the viral spread of Did You Know? and Did You Know? 2.0 (including an article in my local Rocky Mountain News), the NSBA 20 to Watch recognition, the Edublog Most Influential Post award, and presenting at a bunch of different places. Closer to home we continued to explore ways to use technology at my school to help create a more student-centered approach to instruction and I think we made some progress.

On the other hand, I’m not sure all the hoopla over Did You Know? has actually accomplished much, the Edublog award is nice but not really that meaningful, and I still struggle with whether making incremental changes to a school system that wasn’t designed for the 21st century is the right approach. So, since the jury is still out, I think “Change the World” is going to have to carry over to this year as well.

But since simply keeping last year’s resolution feels a little wimpy, I’m going to make two additional ones.
  1. Listen. With both ears.

    I worry that perhaps this past year I talked (or wrote) too much, and didn’t spend enough time really listening (or reading) and reflecting. I hope to do better this year.

  2. Focus on what’s best for students and don’t take no for an answer.

    It seems like everywhere I turn these days there’s somebody telling me that something that I think needs to happen sooner rather than later just isn’t possible, that [fill in the blank] just isn’t ready for it. Or they need more time to study it and that I’m too impatient and shouldn’t expect things to happen so quickly. Now I’m all for thinking carefully about things, and I’m not suggesting we change just to change, but sometimes the need is so clear that you just have to act. We may not get it perfect the first time, but I think that so many times even our imperfect attempts are significantly better than the status quo. So if folks tell me that they agree that something is best for students but we just can’t do it yet, I’m going to keep asking “Why not?” over and over again until they come up with a good reason or – preferably – allow us to make the change. (This should make me even more popular, don'tcha think?)
So, even though I’m not a big fan of resolutions, those are mine for this year. What’s your resolution?

1 comment:

  1. I like that, "listen with both ears."

    This year, I have committed to making it a point to read up more deeply in the research areas I am interested in. Yet, as a teacher, with time being such a four letter word, I have found that converting text documents to MP3 is really making the difference.