Posts Tagged 'New Year'

In Lieu of Resolutions… A Do More and Do Less List for 2016

new-years-eve-936219_960_720By Amanda Szramiak – Happy New Year! There are a lot of exciting (and scary) things happening in my life in 2016. I finally graduate! After a long, invaluable one hundred and forty plus credits of classes, my undergraduate career is coming to an end. While I will be student teaching in the fall, my last semester of course work is here. I am not a huge fan of resolutions, but I will be sharing my To Do More and To Do Less lists again.

To Do More:

Reading: This was on my list last year. Over the summer of 2015, I read five different books! It was great, but I still struggled with reading during the school year. I really hope to read for pleasure throughout the semester. My list of books I need to read before I become a teacher is getting frighteningly long, so I really need to read more!

Yoga:  If I go to the gym, I usually prefer to do some cardio and weight training. I rarely stretch, and I am so not flexible that it’s truly pathetic. I am in utter awe when I see Instagram yoga accounts of Yogis standing on their heads and bending in incredible positions. While I don’t think I will be able to stand on my head anytime soon, I really want to try to become a member of the yoga world.

Visiting Office Hours: I usually only visit my professors during office hours when they require it. I either wait until the last minute to work on a paper or feel embarrassed talking to my professor the day before something is due. I always forget that my professors are just as – if not even more – passionate about the subject they are teaching as I am. When I do visit my professors, our conversations are incredible and I want to soak in all the knowledge I can from them.

Traveling: Everyone keeps telling me to travel now because when I start my career, my time for leisurely vacations will diminish. While it’s tough to travel on my college budget, I started saving for a trip to Thailand in the early summer. My boyfriend and a few friends are planning on doing a United States road trip later in the summer. I also plan to visit Rhode Island a couple times during the semester.

Saving: Directly correlated to traveling, I hope to save as much money as I can. I am hoping to cut down eating out as much as possible. I also hope to put at least half of every paycheck I get into savings. That may be a little unrealistic and difficult, but having that in mind will definitely help.

To Do Less:

Swearing: I didn’t cut down on my swearing as I intended to last year, so it’s back on the list.

Allowing Student Voice: Understanding 2015 as a Teacher in Baltimore

Baltimore_riot_police_VOA (1)By Nick McDaniels- Happy New Year Marquette Educator Readers!  For this post in the past, I have professed some teaching resolutions.  And often, just like that extra 10 pounds I hoped to lose, or the student loan debt I hoped to pay down, those resolutions have been quickly forgotten.  I often use class time on the first day back from winter break to give a rousing “new year, new you” speech and ask for academic resolution from students.  This year, I did none of that.  Not because it usually is an ineffective practice at improvement, but because mainly, after a year like we had in Baltimore, it goes without saying that this year must be different and that last year has shaped us.

2015 was marked by one major event in Baltimore that has made us all forget American Pharaoh’s win at the Preakness, and, thankfully, the Ravens 2015 season.  In April of 2015, Freddie Gray, a young man living in West Baltimore, died after an interaction with police.  His death sparked what has been called an uprising, unrest, and riots.  Schools were temporarily closed.  The international news media made a trip to Charm City.  The National Guard occupied our streets.  The violence in the city then erupted, leading Baltimore to a nearly murder-a-day rate for 2015 and a record setting per-capita murder rate.  Quite simply, it was a difficult year to be a student in Baltimore.

So I told my students, just as my teacher told me on September 11, 2001, that, at least in Baltimore, people, their children perhaps, will want to know someday where you were and what you were doing during that time in late April of 2015.  The events impacted the lives of everyone in the city and the fallout continues to do so.  Trials for the officers charged in the death of Mr. Gray continue.  This is not, and may never be, behind us.

What we must remember now, in 2016, if there was a resolution to be made, it is that student voice in times of crisis and tragedy is extremely important.  So as the trials and the protests and the violence continue, we must allow space for students to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas about the events that are impacting their lives. We can hope that such events will never happen again, but, as we know, they can.  As such, we must charge ourselves as teachers to not look back on a year of tragedy and crisis having not given our students a chance to lift their own voices in response.

Happy New Year, COED-ers!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year – 

Here’s to making sure everything you do 

Comes from a deep purpose within your soul:


To Do More (and Less) in 2015

study-tips-to-start-the-new-year-year-on-the-right-footBy Amanda Szramiak — Happy New Year!

I am so excited to write my first blog of 2015, and I look forward to this semester as a Marquette Educator.

After a long, much needed break from the fall semester, I (as well as the rest of my family) am eager to get back to school.

I can’t believe I just said that.

I am particularly excited about this semester for a variety of reasons. This is going to be my first semester taking class solely for my major. Although both education classes are two hour-long night classes, I am incredibly excited to immerse myself deeper into the field of education. Along with my two education courses, I am taking three English courses, which may I add, I am a little nervous about. Thankfully, the three courses are all different types of English (writing, Shakespeare, literature studies) so I think it will be beneficial to have different categories of English.

I am going to save my more “academic” blogs for later on in the semester. I wanted to have a chance to tell you about my goals for 2015. I am not a big fan of having a big new years resolution simply because my attention span is not that proficient.

Instead, I have created “To Do More” and “To Do Less” lists that I hope to accomplish throughout 2015. Here they are!DO MORE DO LESS

To Do More:

  • Laughing. Although 2014 was a great year, I really want to be as happy as I can be throughout 2015. Not only do I want to laugh more in 2015, but also I want to be the reason for others’ laughs and happiness throughout the year.
  • Reading. Ever since college, I rarely read books for pure joy. Even though I probably shouldn’t admit this, reading for class is not as joyful as reading Gillian Flynn’s dark novels. I do enjoy the material I read when it pertains to education and/or English, but I am aiming to find more time to read for relaxation and pure satisfaction.
  • Being Healthy. For my entire undergraduate career, the end of the fall semesters always send me into fast food eating frenzy. The stress of finals and the convenience of grabbing a quick meal always win so I am hoping to eat as clean as possible in 2015.
  • Sleep. No explanation necessary.

 To Do Less:

  • Netflixing. I don’t think that is a coined verb yet, but I need to stop watching so much Netflix. I am so quick to say I can’t go to the gym because I don’t have enough time, yet I had plenty of time to watch six episodes in a row of Gilmore Girls. I am going to say I need to do less of netflixing rather than cutting it out completely because that is very unrealistic.
  • Complaining. I complain so much it is really rather disturbing. I actually think I have complained via these blog posts so I apologize for that. I hope to lessen my complaints during 2015.
  • Swearing. My little sister has started to use words like “Flip” and “Poop,” a lot more often this past month so I really need to stop swearing in hopes of preventing my twelve-year-old sister to follow in my potty-mouth footsteps. I am going to start a swear jar, and I promise to keep you updated with the profit.

What are YOUR “To Do’s” for 2015?

Techy Teacher Resolutions

ResolutionsBy Ashley McFadin — The first of the new year has come and gone (seriously, how is it already 2013?!). And I am ALL about making New Year’s resolutions and lists.

Lots and lots of lists.  We are halfway through the school year, which means that I’ve had a whole semester’s worth of experience as a 1-1 teacher.  Looking back, I didn’t use them as much as I could or should.  But I have the whole spring semester to make up for it.  So, without further ado, my techy-teacher resolutions…

  • Have a specific goal in mind when using the computers for a simulation and be more explicit in telling the students what they should be looking for.  Not everything has to be complete and total inquiry.
  • Use Google Docs more often.  Not only with this cut down on my copying, but the kids will be less likely to lose it!
  • The computers should facilitate the learning of science content, not be new content in and of themselves.
  • Let the students be creative so they can show you what they know in their own way.  Let them take pictures, make videos, record songs!
  • Teach digital organization and study skills using programs like Evernote, Quizlet and Google Calendar.

In essence of SMART Goals, these are all specific, measureable and attainable.  You’ll hear teachers say that they “don’t have time” to do all of this, but it’s frankly a matter of making time so our students (and teachers) can be successful in the 21st century world of education.  To technology and beyond!

New Year’s Resolution Effect

By Jonathon Sumpter — New Year’s resolutions, to me, seem to be more about what was rather than what may be. December 31’s ideas of gyms, carrots, and making more money turn into spending more money on carrot cake and Slim Jims (which has nothing to do with my own slimness), right around January 7th at 6am.

The New Year has become more about past regret and shame than future hopes and dreams. Maybe this is the New Year’s Resolution Effect, or, maybe I’m just cynical.

As I enter my final semester of my Masters program during the New Year, I find my head crooking backwards and forwards all at once. All the decisions that I have made that got me here have come under fire, as the “real world” knocks at my consciousness. Am I prepared,  will I pass the licensing tests, will I be able to support my family? The future is not here yet, but I seem to be anticipating the future with a lens shaded by the past. Will I be as successful in my future endeavors as my past, or was this all for not?

Just like New Years’ Resolutions, I’m seeing all that was not, rather than what can be. Instead of thoughts like, did I pay enough attention in Dr. Melchert’s Theories class, or did I take full advantage of supervision; I should be looking forward. I would venture a guess that the majority of my classmates are simply ready to be at May 19th, walking across to accept their diploma. However, I don’t know who all are really ready to jump into a career. I say I am. But, there is always a hesitance, a slight trepidation. So I set goals, or resolutions for my future. I will be here at this time, I will be doing this at this time, I will have it all figured out by then. But this is too future oriented for my comfort as well.

Even though the future is about to knock, it is not at the door yet. I think I will have to sit and enjoy the “December 31st” feel of my last semester. Not allowing the New Year Resolution Effect of past regret or future pressure press too firmly on myself that I simply “snoozing” through the present, just like  on January 7th at 6 am.

There’s plenty of time to worry, there’s plenty of time to be accomplished, right now, I’ll just be a student for a little while longer. This New Year will come one day at a time, I might as well do that too.

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