Resolutions are made with the best intentions, and with the best intentions they’re usually broken. I vowed to eat more healthily this year, but with three unopened boxes of Celebrations left over from Christmas staring at me, I doubt I’ll make it past next week. Lecturers are no exception, except their resolutions usually revolve around caffeine intake and staying on top of the marking before next half term. As an ex-teacher myself and with friends still fighting the good fight, I’ve collated a list of the usual suspects making it onto lecturers’ resolution lists for 2020. Can we start the decade promising not to hoard our ‘World’s Best Teacher’ mugs in our classrooms? Probably not.
1. To only have one biscuit at break times
I’d bet my last hobnob this one gets broken before you can say ‘birthday snacks in the staffroom’ on an all staff e-mail.
2. To drink decaf coffee and ditch the energy drinks
Let’s face it, although not the best nutritional diet, a quick caffeine fix is sometimes all that gets you through until lunch time.
3. To not keep sweets in the desk, no matter how much we say they’re ‘for the students’
How else will you get rid of the Bountys?
4. To apply for that job abroad that’s been sat in your bookmarks since Christmas
Dubai does look delightfully warm this time of year, or maybe Singapore? Perhaps Paris? Monaco looks pretty appealing too...
5. To not lose pens or lend your nice ones to the students
Keep that beautiful ballpoint for yourself: it’ll only end up in the depths of a mislaid backpack.
6. To learn how to delegate
I set this one for my friends. Help each other out and don’t feel like you have to do everything alone. You’re a superhero but you’re not superhuman.
7. To not spill tea or coffee on college books
‘Why is my homework tea stained?’
‘I thought it would add to the authenticity of your historic poster.’
8. To read for pleasure every day, not just in the holidays (although sleep usually takes precedence)
Make a book club with your friends or colleagues and listen to audio books in the car on your way to and from work. They go well with bubble baths and a glass of wine too!
9. To finally remember the names of the students in your classes
You’ve known them since September, surely, it’s time to nail down the difference between Sam T and Sam B?
10. To perfect that work/life balance and not take as much work home with you
However tempting it is to get those books marked with your current Netflix binge in the background, it’s important to have a little downtime. Have a read through some of the wellbeing blogs on FEjobs for helpful tips on staying mindful. Personal tip: break up the horror and only take five home for the night, not thirty.
I hope this year brings all lecturers across the globe happiness, health, support, better funding, successful students and an abundance of Bourbons in the staffroom. Thank you for everything you do for our communities. Happy New Year.
About the author
After completing a BA in Creative Writing and a Masters in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester, Tammy worked as a Learning Support Assistant, with a focus on helping students develop their literacy skills. She then taught as an English teacher at an all-boys comprehensive school in Berkshire. Now she has turned her sights to a career in writing, with education at the heart of it.