According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, the top 10 resolutions for 2015 were:
- Lose weight
- Get organized
- Spend less/save more
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Stay fit/healthy
- Learn something exciting
- Quit smoking
- Help others in their dreams
- Fall in love
- Spend more time with family
Do these resolutions sound familiar? While these resolutions focus on personal growth, December also marks a time to make career resolutions. Who do you aspire to be in your teaching, instruction, or position? What type of person do you aspire to be?
If you are anything like me, at the end of the semester I reflect on my semester failures and successes. My immediate response is to create a mental list of things to improve on such as,
“Next semester I will do ___ before the semester starts.”
“No problem, I’ll do ______ during the break time to.”
“I’ll start early next time”
“I will do that activity/assignment next semester.”
“I will never do ____ again.“
With each passing day, the list fades away and gets tucked away in the back of my mind never to be found again.
Resolutions help achieve personal and professional goals. A recent article by Laura Garnett (Inc.com) described New Year resolutions made by “truly remarkable CEOs.” The longer I read the article, the more parallels I could see between the resolutions of company leaders and teachers. We should also think strategically as CEOs do. So what can we learn from the resolutions of CEOs? Keep reading to find five resolutions teachers should make in 2016.
Five Resolutions Teachers Should Make in 2016
Make a strategic change in 2016 to become the teacher you aim to be. It’s time!
1. Meet a new person every week (16 week semester)
Network. A typical semester spans 16 weeks. The goal is realistic and accomplishable – meet 16 people in one semester. CEOs take the people-first attitude very seriously. They are focus on their employees and make them engage in their work so all could benefit.
How? Get out of the office/classroom. Talk to people inside/outside of your department. Attend university functions or activities, sit on committees, or go to training events offered by your school to meet someone new every week.
2. Learn something new every day (blogs, podcasts, public radio, etc.)
Teachers are lifelong learners, but how intentional are you to learn something new every day? Make it a point something daily in/outside of your field. Read a blog, tune in to a daily/weekly podcast, listen to public radio, read the newspaper, etc.
3. Focus on the long-term, not the short-term
Resolutions most often focus on getting quick and immediate results. Lose 10 pounds. Prepare a manuscript. Attend a workshop. Instead, pick a resolution that helps you reach long-term success. Be strategic about your time, invest in your skills, and plan for personal/professional growth.
4. Be a better mentor and connect with your own mentors
Commit to being more engaged in your mentoring (Statistic Brain). Be strategic about the mentoring you give others and about the mentoring you seek for yourself. Mentoring is the key to success in any field or discipline. Make it a resolution to engage your students in quality mentoring and/or to reach out to your own mentor.
5. Find your zone and do work that inspires you
You do great work when you operate in your zone. Your zone is the place where you face challenges with excitement. The zone is about putting your talent inline with your purpose. This is where you do your best work – at the point where you find fulfillment and feel completely engaged. Are you in the zone or working towards it?
Decide today to make 2016 the year to make your work matter. Align your zone with your personal purpose. Be strategic and resolve to make it happen.
Editor’s Note: And decide to participate in the American Physiological Society Institute on Teaching and Learning in Madison, WI sponsored by your APS Teaching Section and the Physiology Educator Community of Practice June 20-24, 2016 (see www.the-aps.org/itl)!
Jessica Ibarra received her PhD and postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Jessica is an assistant professor at the University of the Incarnate Word. She has taught undergraduate anatomy and physiology, medical physiology, general biology, and graduate courses in physiology and neuroanatomy. Her experiences include student-centered teaching strategies, health profession student advisement, K-12 science outreach, and studied inflammation in cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Jessica was recently appointed to anatomy faculty to teach the anatomical sciences in the Masters of Biomedical Sciences program in the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family and running.