The start of a new year is always an exciting time to kick off new ideas, start new programs and begin new habits. Whether professional or personal, new goals are always on our mind at this time of year.
I have written before about the concept of a 30 Day Challenge, on the basis that you need to something thirty times for it to become a habit. The idea is to establish a positive behaviour as part of your practice or lifestyle by either subtracting a negative behaviour or adding a positive behaviour, for example:
- Avoiding a particular food
- Eating breakfast
- Checking your Reader everyday
- Going paperless in your teaching
- Trying something new every day in one lesson/activity whether it be with a device, an app or a great web tool
- Spending time engaging with and developing your PLN
When something is new, different and unusual, we tend to make a big deal of it. This serves a few purposes.
Firstly, we are sharing our enthusiasm and excitement with others. This can help keep us on track, assist with motivation and provide the opportunity for others to engage with the concept also.
Secondly, we tend to give the idea great importance. We acknowledge it as a high priority and will make sure that it action is taken for its success.
A finally, it gives us the chance to evaluate and to discern if it is just a fad or a sustainable change that we can adopt long term.
A colleague recently posed this question on a company social networking site:
In an educational context, this is an interesting thought and one which is holds alot of truth. However, there were times when these were all new ideas too. When we became caught up in the excitement of the innovation. And there are more people everyday experiencing that same notion of discovery and combined with fresh enthusiasm.
So when does something evolve to be less hoopla and more habit?
Many of us cannot imagine life without our smartphones, teaching without an elearning platform such as Edmodo or Moodle or not having access to the Internet each and everyday.
In my opinion, until it becomes such a normal part of your daily routine or practice that you don’t even think about it as being something other than just what you do.
And the more people that can bring innovative practices into teaching and learning, the better.
But if you are in the habit phase, keep trying to find those strategies that bring you back into the hoopla phase – as it is where so much valuable learning and reflection will take place.
So what will your Hoopla or Habit dilemma bring for you this year?