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3 Instructional Resolutions for 2015

During this holiday season many people are excited about the presents and food, but for me, I look forward to New Year’s Day.  There is something about a shiny new year that promises a fresh start that makes me so invigorated. Yes, I love to make resolutions!  When I was a classroom teacher, I even made instructional resolutions each year. Immediately after leaving the classroom, I did not consider myself a teacher, so I stopped making instructional resolutions.   Recently, I have realized that although I am not in the traditional classroom anymore, I instruct and support educators and those students deserve an improved teacher just as much as the students from my time as a classroom teacher.

Since resolutions can quickly become an overwhelmingly achievable list of broken promises, I keep my list short and fairly simple. In 2015, I resolve to…

  1. Listen more!

“Why is it that teaching by pouring in, learning by passive absorption, are universally condemned, yet entrenched in practice?” –John Dewey

Like many educators, there are times when I believe that instruction stops when I stop talking. The reality is that when we silence ourselves when teaching, we are more available to listen to the needs of our students. It is close to impossible to know what portions of the lesson are confusing or difficult if I speed through without pausing to pose questions and listen.

  1. Laugh more!

“If you are not laughing, you are not learning.” -Award Winning Humorist Linda Edgecombe

I am not sure that I believe this quote completely but wouldn’t it be great to teach as if this quote is a fact!  That is my plan for 2015.  Blending learning and laughter is one of my favorite things to do, but I must say that I do not do it often enough.  When I see my students of all ages smiling and laughing, I know that they have enjoyed their time learning and that makes me immensely happy. Not only does laughter improve the mood in the classroom, it also enhances the trust in the room.

  1. Learn more!

“Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” -John Cotton Dana

I spend more than enough time researching and learning new strategies and techniques for teachers but I do not spend as much time trying to learn more from them.  I am often so busy and focused on the work at hand that I do not intentionally open myself up to learn from others.

Teaching, whether you are in a traditional classroom or a conference room, can be overwhelming and incredibly stressful. Adding resolutions can seem to be just another way to add pressure and additional tasks, but they do not have to be.  I prefer to not think of resolutions as reminders of more I need to do, but as tools to get me closer to reducing the stress of the forthcoming year and focusing on the joy that comes from helping others learn.

-Tammy Ramsey, Ed.S
Senior Instructional Specialist

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The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning expands and supports high quality teaching and effective, supportive leadership. QTL Processes bring together technology, teamwork, student data and research-based instruction to create more engaging lesson design for greater student achievement.

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