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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

It is the New Year, and it is time to start making promises to yourself that you know you will not keep. In that spirit, I'm going to make some New Year's Anti-Resolutions that I look forward to failing at keeping.

1. I resolve to only stand and lecture in each and every one of my classes. Nothing but me talking and kids taking notes. Every class will look and be exactly the same.

2. I resolve to test my kids at least twice a week -- and three times a day if possible. I will use a 50-question multiple choice test as the only means of assessment, and I will base their entire grade on that one evaluation.

3. I resolve to not share anything with anyone in my department, school or the world at large. All of my ideas will be kept in my head or a private journal that nobody will be allowed to read. My ideas will be mine alone.

4. I resolve to give as much busywork as possible during the course of the school year. If my students do not have homework every single night, they are not learning. The homework will always come in the form of worksheets and other paper handouts. They must be done, and they will receive points that will determine their value in my class.

5. I resolve to set firm deadlines because all students must learn at the same rate and turn in their work like everyone else. Public education is about the masses, and personalization does not belong in the classroom. If you want that, go to the private sector.

6. I resolve to keep who I really am from my students. Kids do not need to see the real me. The real me is for my friends, and these kids are not my friends. They can get to know me after they graduate, go to college and get a job.

7. I resolve to not make any connections with my students. They have their lives, and I have my life. There is nothing I need to know about them other than their student ID number for entering grades in the grade book.

8. I resolve to make sure students have as few options in my class as possible. Options are confusing to students and difficult for teachers to grade. I'm in charge and will be telling them what to do and how to do it. I repeat: options just lead to confusion.

9. I resolve to use technology as the basis of all the lessons I create. My first question during my lesson planning will always be, "How I can use the iPad here?" It will always be technology first, curriculum second and students third.

10. I resolve to stop tweaking my lessons. They are fine the way they are and need to be left alone. If they were good enough for the students five years ago, they are good enough for the students today and the students five years in the future. Don't fix it if it isn't broken.

I am very bad at keeping resolutions, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep all of these, but I have to try.

Update: I managed to break all of my resolutions 20 minutes into my first day back at school after break. Ugh. I guess I'll have to try again next year.

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