12 Ways to Make Your 2017 Epic - Personally & Professionally

Life can get hectic, that is for sure. But by dedicating just a little time each day, week, or month, you can make a big difference all year long. As 2017 hits nearly the half way mark, be sure to incorporate time for you to learn and grow.

Not sure where to start? Check out these twelve ideas:


  1. Join a PLC (Professional Learning Community)
    PLC’s are an excellent opportunity for educators to create their own professional development, hone their skills and improve student outcomes through action research. Check out this resource on Atomic Learning to find out more.
  2. Learn New Instructional Strategies
    As a professional development opportunity, give yourself some time to explore different instructional strategies like the ones we have listed here:

         - Reciprocal Teaching 
         - Pass/Send a Problem
         - Think-Pair-Share
  3. Apply That to Your Course
    It’s easy to consume content, but not always so easy to apply what you’ve learned. Sometimes, it can just be a matter of dedicating the time to doing it. Dedicate time this coming year to bring what you’ve learned into your course.
  4. Attend an Education Conference
    Network with educators and thought leaders in person at a national or regional Higher Education conference. If getting away isn't in the plan, some conferences offer a virtual attendee option, including EDUCAUSE and NASPA.
  5. Watch and/or Participate in a Twitter Chat
    A twitter chat can be a great learning opportunity, and there's one for nearly every education topic you can think of! You can check out this education twitter chat calendar, and we’d also like to suggest @JaimeDonally’s chat on Wednesdays at 8pm CST focused on augmented and virtual reality—check it out at #ARVRinEDU.
  6. Find a Blog – and Keep Up with It
    Lots of education thought leaders, like George Couros, regularly write though-provoking posts that are well worth a read. Pick a few from the 10 Higher Ed Blogs Worth the Quick Read article from eCampus News, and be sure to swing by THIS blog often for posts just like this one!



  1. Go Somewhere New
    Whether you want to take a long weekend off or just an afternoon, pack up the car and go somewhere you haven’t before. Take in new experiences by seeing new sights and learning new things. For a few ideas, check out this article The Huffington Post did on The Best Tourist Attraction in Every State. Have you been to the one they mention in your own state?

  2. Try Out a New Recipe
    It’s easy to get stuck in our ways, and make the same meals week after week. Spice things up a bit – pun intended! It doesn’t have to be elaborate, start with something simple. Have you used your slow cooker lately? Members of our staff also suggest Pinterest as an awesome resource to find new recipes—just search for any type of meal, and hundreds of recipes are at your fingertips.
  3. Give a New Hobby a Try
    With 2017 fast approaching, now is a great time to think about you! What are you passionate about? What do you like to do? What have you always wanted to try? Motivate yourself to try a new hobby, take advantage of the community education programs offered through your local school, express yourself at a beginners painting class, or get out and move with a “couch to 5k” exercise regimen. The possibilities are endless!
  4. Try an Anti-Stress Activity
    Long-term stress can have some pretty negative effects on the body. Try some of these tactics to help de-stress your day: Take a 10-minute walk, do yoga, color in an adult-coloring book, or listen to music. Looking for more ideas? Google™ to your heart's content.
  5. Set Your Phone Down
    This is an easy one. Okay, so maybe it is easier said than done. Our mobile devices are constantly beeping, pinging, notifying, buzzing, and otherwise demanding our attention. Give yourself a break! Put it down for 30 minutes and soak up the electronic free time. You will be surprised at what a relief it can bring.
  6. Spend Time with Family and Friends
    Make time to spend with those you love. Whether it is taking a road trip to an aunt’s house, calling up a friend you haven’t talked to in months, or fitting in a couple extra visits with your immediate family, making time for family and friends can be rewarding to your piece of mind.

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Happy Holiday's from Atomic Learning!
This article is part of our 12 Days of Learning. In place of a
holiday card, we've created 12 insightful articles for educators.
View all of the articles.

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