Those of us serving in academic institutions are lucky for at least two reasons: not only do we have the opportunity to influence others through our teachings and by our role modeling; but we also have two new beginnings each year - - the calendar and the academic year. Each event gives us the opportunity to analyze and determine changes in our own behaviors we wish to promote for the coming year. Let me share with you my list of ten academic year resolutions.
This year I will try to:
1. learn more about my own unique style and personality, and develop those teaching skills that suit me best.
2. keep my teaching exciting, fun, and stimulating by experimenting with at least two new teaching techniques that I have never tried, and evaluate the results in terms of student learnings and interest.
3. build my students' confidence in their own abilities by pointing out to them more often that which they do well.
4. accept my students' feelings as fact and offer them support as needed.
5. use more of my students' ideas in discussions and questions.
6. allow more time each teaching session for my students to ask questions or make comments.
7. give my students a greater number of challenging independent assignments to help them become more responsible for their own learning.
8. invite a colleague to critique my teaching and give me guidance in ways in which I can improve my teaching behaviors.
9. offer my suggestions to my colleagues constructively to help them improve their teaching.
10. look back at the end of this year and feel satisfied with what I have accomplished with my students.
To all of our readers I wish a happy, fulfilling, and satisfying new teaching-learning year.