Goals for 2014

My new semester is just 5 days away. Usually, I feel more prepared for the start of the semester, but I’m not feeling it this time. It’s not that I am unprepared. I just don’t feel prepared enough. I’ve got all the little necessities done: syllabi – check; tentative schedules – check; course homepages – check; first week of lessons and activities – check. So, what’s left to do? Part of my unprepared feelings is that I am taking a more relaxed approach this semester. I am trying to slow down in terms of what we learn in class, so I am planning less ahead. This is scary for me, because I usually need to be well planned if I want to successfully balance my work and home life (being a father of two isn’t easy).

I am also very excited about this semester. I have come up with some new projects for my students that I think they will love. This is also the first semester where I will have one of my graduate classes completely design the syllabus for their course – I’m most excited about this. I am also excited about the presentations, skits, and videos students will be making this semester. It seems like I’m pretty well planned, doesn’t it?

I guess I feel like I haven’t planned enough. So, to alleviate these feelings, I have begun to do some different planning – goal planning. What am I trying to accomplish this year, both in and out of the classroom? Why am I doing all this preparing and planning? Here are my goals for 2014:

Teaching Goals

  • Focus on listening and pronunciation more in my conversation classes.
  • Focus more on emergent language.
  • Find ways to give more individualized feedback, even in larger classes.
  • Integrate music more into my teaching.
  • Find a way to use Game of Thrones as a teaching activity (usually, I use zombies).
  • Use less paper , or use it more strategically.
  • Have students keep lexical journals.

Professional Goals

  • Write up and publish my research into a journal article.
  • Find a new research project.
  • Speak at a conference.
  • Blog more about the activities I do in class.
  • Blog more in general.
  • Study for the GRE every week.
  • Take and ace the GRE this summer.
  • Decide on a PhD program.
  • Join the Peace Boat.
  • Read one or two books on linguistics, applied or traditional.

Personal Goals

  • Continue with Python and Android coding.
  • Try to start again at the MMA gym.
  • Relax more.
  • Publish my children’s book.
  • Finish the Clan of the Cave Bear book series.
  • Start the Game of Thrones book series.
  • Travel to Okinawa and/or Bali.
  • Get off my phone.
  • Build more with legos.

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