There are two types of people in the world: those that make New Year’s resolutions and those that don’t.
(And yes, that was an adaptation of this quote from What About Bob?: “There are two types of people in the world: those that like Neil Diamond and those that don’t. My ex-wife loves him.”)
I myself have been both types of people (I don’t even know how to make that sentence grammatically correct – do enlighten me!). There are years where there is such an obvious resolution to make and years where I’m overwhelmed just maintaining what I am doing that the last thing I’m going to do is expend any mental energy to make a resolution I feel no resolve (or energy) to keep.
But, in light of the cultural pressure to at least acknowledge the concept of New Year’s resolutions, I’ve thought a lot about change and goals lately. I’ve thought about times when I succeeded at making a change and times when I failed. I have memories of changes that I made almost instantaneously and naturally. I have memories of changes that occurred over the course of my entire life.
My conclusion: the secret to change is change.
Not every resolution or goal I have ever made has resulted in sustainable change. But… our failures to sustain good habits can be just as important for helping us create good habits as are our successes.
Failure tells us when we need to refine our approach; success tells us we have found something that works. (Tweet!)
In order to get the information we need to evaluate whether something is a success or failure: we have to try lots of new things. Just because your first approach doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean you can’t change, or that there isn’t a better way. It just means you need to refine your approach or try a new one. If you keep changing things that aren't working, you will find things that are effective and natural to sustain.
Now, to get back to the title of this post, here are our 12 most popular blog posts of 2012. The tips and advice might not be the perfect approach for you and your students, but the only way to know is to try them out and see what happens. At least they will give you some ideas of things to try so you can start to refine your approach.
12 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2012:
- One 2-Minute Task That Can Drastically Boost a Struggling Reader’s Success
- 5 Ways to Activate Student Attention, Anticipation, & Interest During a Lesson
- 4-Step Process for Helping Students Transfer Decoding Skills to Written Text
- 5 Teaching Strategies That Boost a Student’s Working Memory & Retention
- A Simple Strategy for Teaching Struggling Readers [Raised Passing Rates from 50% to 96%]
- 5 Fun Classroom Activities for Engaging English Language Learners
- The Importance of Reading Aloud to Students of All Grades and Levels
- How to Improve Working Memory for Struggling Readers (and all Students) – Webinar Q&A
- 4 Ways to Get Your Students Attention During Reading Instruction
- 5 Teaching Practices That Increase Motivation for Struggling Readers
- Crucial Steps for Effectively Teaching Reading to Struggling Readers
- 4 Reasons Phonics Has a Place in Middle School and High School Classrooms
And, if none of these strategies work for you: hit the books!