New Year’s Resolutions

Posted in Blog by EE Team with No Comments

Jan2013 08

As we leave 2012 behind us, Enabling Enterprise Project Manager Anna Chojnicka looks to the year ahead and ponders New Year’s resolutions.

And so it happens again. You wake up on January the 1st, leap out of bed and grab a pen and paper. Full of optimism for the year ahead, you begin to write: “My New Year’s Resolutions 2013”. Just think: all the new places you’ll visit, friends you’ll reunite with, lessons you’ll plan meticulously! This year will be the best yet! And with a sigh of satisfaction you put down your pen, smiling affectionately at your list.

But now it’s January the 8th and a week has passed. You’ve had a bout of norovirus, arrived back at school not knowing which class you’re teaching first and your once prized list is lying forlornly on your kitchen floor, tea stained and neglected. It’s an inevitable state of affairs which rears its ugly head each year, despite our best intentions.

But never fear! We at Enabling Enterprise have devised a handy guide for you, showing you how to seamlessly stick to your resolutions, by bringing them into the classroom.

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EE Guide to New Year’s Resolutions: Conquer them before they conquer you

New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside because they are easy to ignore. Who’s going to care if I don’t go on my Wednesday morning run? No one other than me. And at 6am on a freezing January when I’m in my nice warm bed, I definitely don’t care. So I’m not doing it. That’s why it’s important to involve other people- like a support team.

As a teacher, you are in the unique position of having a whole classroom full of potential support – so why not get them onside? Better yet, why not tie your resolutions into your lessons? We compiled a list of the ten most common New Year’s resolutions to show you how:

1. Save Money
Saving money is hard. A more fun way of saving money is making money. So why not try your hand at entrepreneurship by getting your students to set up their own mini businesses or enterprise projects? From handmade bookmarks and jewellery, to smoothies and cushions, there’s no limit to what can be produced with a little imagination. Check out what these students in East London got up to last term, selling their unique creations at a whole school fair.

2. Tame the Bulge
We all love our food, especially at Christmas. But after two solid weeks of turkey, stuffing, chocolate, cake, chocolate cake, you might start to feel a bit like a Christmas pudding yourself. As a class, create a healthy eating recipe book, drawing on healthy dishes from your local community. Alternatively, get your students to set up a healthy tuck shop at school. Taming the bulge and making money at the same time – easy!

3. Quit Smoking
A notoriously tricky one. But it’s often said that it’s easier to curb one habit by substituting it for another. Instead of your crafty break-time cigarette, become a quiz maestro by swotting up on some general knowledge (Sporcle and TED-Ed are good ones). Excellent for whipping out nonchalantly in class or the staffroom, cementing your reputation as a guru of all knowledge.

4. Learn Something New
With so much going on at school, finding the time to learn anything new can seem like a bit of a pipedream. But new experiences really are the spice of life – that’s why we connect schools and businesses. By organising challenge days and trips to a cross-section of exciting companies, from advertising firms and consultancies, to construction companies and toy stores, students have the opportunity to experience a whole variety of professions. Have a look at some of these trips here.

5. Get Fit
For most people, getting fit means hitting the gym. But far more enjoyable is getting out into the fresh air with some friends and playing football or frisbee – or making up your own sport! As part of EE project ‘Sporting Futures’, students from Olympic borough schools worked in teams to design their own unique sporting event which they incorporated into their very own sports day at the end of summer term!

6. Meet New People
Making new friends can be hard when you’re always going to the same places and seeing the same people. But why not team up with a local school for a challenge day or an alternative sports day? Although daunting at first, students from these Birmingham schools said that the best part of their joint trip to law firm Wragge & Co was working with new people.

7. Go Green
We all try and do our bit – recycle the odd tin here, buy the odd free range egg there. Buy why not make environmentalism more fun and add a bit of entrepreneurship into the mix by collecting recycled materials and turning them into something amazing? Get your students to bring in old trash and turn it into the toys of the future as part of an exciting enterprise project. You never know, it might lead to a VIP tour of Hamleys!

8. Get More Involved in the Community
This is a great one for meeting new people and raising general cheer levels. Whether it’s inviting the local community to the school talent show or cleaning up its surrounding streets, there are lots of fun ways to get more involved and set up your own enterprise project. Click here for some inspiration.

9. Help Someone
There’s no better feeling than when you know that something you have done will make someone else’s life a bit better, no matter how small the difference. Students all over country have cottoned onto this, getting stuck into social entrepreneurship. From helping younger children to read to visiting nearby nursing homes, from setting up community gardens to local music festivals, they have been doing some truly inspiring work. Here’s what it looked like in one school.

10. Enjoy Life More
Not as easy as it sounds, I know. But one way of making activities more fun is by getting into teams and turning them into a competition! In November, students from three Aldridge Academies across the UK were given the task of setting up their own souvenir businesses in a day, as part of a nationwide challenge day. Who would come up with the best ideas? Who would make the most profit? Knowing that they were competing against students in Brighton and Darwen made victory for the Portslade students all the sweeter.

So there you have it, ten easy ways to stay on top of those resolutions. Happy 2013 everyone!

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