The sun will come up tomorrow and many of us will have one or more New Year’s Resolutions that we plan to pursue to improve our lives. Lose weight, save money, less junk food, or quit smoking are many of the usual suspects. I know I will be making a couple myself, and have made them in the past, some successful and some not so much.
A couple of weeks ago, my wife shared with me an interview she had heard on CBC radio with an executive coach named Margot Ross-Graham who spoke about the idea of Workplace Resolutions (Link to the Interview HERE). The idea itself wasn’t overly profound, but it was in her examples of these resolutions that I was intrigued. She spoke about four resolutions that she thought fit the business world, but I see great value in them for the education world.
1) To Not Be Afraid This Year
Margot speaks to the idea of not being afraid to make a mistake, to take on a new project or to be yelled at by your boss (yikes!), which for the most part are things we want to see in our classrooms. Teachers who are risk takers are usually trying to make the learning in their classroom the most valuable they can for their students and aren’t afraid of a lesson falling flat once in a while if they can find innovative new ways to provide learning experiences. If you are a teacher, what a great resolution for you to take on for the next 6 months. If you are an administrator or division executive, you too can take risks, or you could ask yourself what you could do to foster this type of environment in your building or division.
2) To Make A Difference In Someone Else’s Life At Work
I love this one. Margot talks about mentorship of a young colleague, our profession relies so heavily on the development of our young teachers. She also talks about helping a co-worker who is struggling. I am sure that there is someone in your building that could use a little assistance with a project, with coaching a team or simply with their busy day-to-day schedule. What a great professional goal for the rest of this school year, to make sure you make one person’s day easier, in turn making your school a better place.
3) To Make A “Breakthrough” At Work
Here Margot talks about breaking old habits and pushing through with something you have wanted to change in your career. Her comment is “if we do what we’ve always done, we’ll be what we’ve always been”, and being the teacher or administrator you want to be may require a breakthrough. Getting more comfortable with technology, creating a more student-centered approach or maybe a change in your classroom environment, whatever it is you could make a work resolution to do it.
4) To Not Say “But” At Work
“Imagine how different we would be if every idea we had wasn’t followed by someone telling us ‘but we can’t do that because…’ ” here Margot talks about how the Sara Lee company handed out buttons to their employees with the word “But” crossed out with a red line. I like this from the standpoint of colleague to colleague but also from teacher to student. I wonder how our schools would be if we could strive to tell our kids “But” less often. As a staff in a building or division, how can we strive to be supporters of the big dreamers rather than skeptics? Maybe this workplace resolution is a start?
Sure Workplace Resolution in itself is no groundbreaking idea, but change is always difficult and what ever trick it takes to improve ourselves, our schools, our teaching or our relationships with our colleagues and students, we should jump at the chance. I like the workplace resolution of finding one person in my building that could use my assistance every day and helping them. Which one do you like? Are you going to make a workplace resolution? Add it in a comment or keep us posted on how it goes.
Happy New Year everyone, I hope it is everything you could hope for.