Ali Edwards' One Little Word (OLW) last January I was struck by the simplicity of choosing one word to encompass, or rather summarize, the achievement one hoped for in the new year. After participating with OLW during 2012, I realized the deep impact one word could have and was impressed with how a word could positively change your personal character. INSPIRE brought me opportunities, conversations, knowledge, ideas, and a plethora of possibilities. From all the inspiration that I encountered and shared during 2012, I was able to change my mindset as a learner and approach my professional journey with eyes wide open.
For 2013, I was able to dive right into the OLW challenge, this time with even more purpose. I chose a word that would help me to overcome current challenges, yet also allow me to keep inspiration front and center in my life. I wanted a word that would connect with INSPIRE, and one that would allow me to reach current goals I have in place. So, after pondering a list of potential words I decided upon BELIEVE. This word represents discovering new inspiration, aligning it to current goals, and believing in the ability to achieve the goals established. For me, BELIEVE also means to have faith in the professional journey that I have created for myself, my support system that surrounds me, and overcoming the challenges I will continue to encounter. My word for 2013 will allow me to BELIEVE in myself: my abilities, my talents, my goals, my future.
BELIEVE will also help me accomplish the more quantitative goals I have established, that have a qualitative purpose:
1. Sharing a love for reading. Through my favorite series AS a ten year old WITH my ten year old. I LOVED the Babysitters Club Series written by Ann M. Martin. I developed a love for books through her writing. My daughter began reading them recently and we set the goal to read through this series this year together; a few chapters a night allows us to finish a couple books a week. However, we are both hooked and have been finding additional time to read together whenever we can steal a few minutes! I BELIEVE there is always time to read and share in a love for literature.
2. Closing my Book Gaps. Inspired by the Book Whisperer (Donalyn Miller). I plan to close my book gaps by establishing a flexible book goal for the year. For now Ann and I established flexible goals along side our students from now until June. I decided upon my Book Gap Areas and have been enjoying a few books in the Historical Fiction Genre, as well a Autobiographies/Biographies/Memoirs. I am closing the gap on reading to learn more about people and historical time periods. I am also closing the gap on reading to learn and enjoy language through poetry. And of course I have also set aside a large portion of my goal to read for my favorite purposes of getting lost in an alternate universe or gathering information about topics I am passionate about! I set up a Goodreads account to log and track the books as I finish them. I BELIEVE closing the gaps I have as a reader, as well as taking the time to celebrate my love for reading, will allow me to become a more well-rounded learner.
3. Running. Every day possible. With my dog. Her begging eyes and infamous whine will keep me accountable. We have logged many miles already this month, even though there has been snow pack and freezing temperatures since before Christmas. I BELIEVE running daily will improve my health, mood, thinking, and focus.
4. Daily Photo. Recognizing the good in education through the #edugood project developed by Krissy Venosdale. This inspiring project with help me stay focused on why I do the job I am passionate about every single day and keep me from getting caught up in negative, exhaustive slumps. I BELIEVE the good in education is all around us, when we choose to take the time to notice.
Here are some inspirational discoveries that also fit the theme of BELIEVE:
The 4 Education Trends I Hope Stay, by Pernille Ripp
Believing in Students, by Richard Curwin
Believe What We Want to Believe, by Seth Godin
That Kind of Classroom, by Krissy Venosdale
Do You Believe?, by Daniel Dominguez
And I must also say that again Ann and I chose compatible words, simply by chance. Last year our words (INSPIRE & COURAGE) worked together and benefited the both of us. This year our words (BELIEVE & VOICE) will prove to do the same, I am sure of it. We are learning to BELIEVE in the VOICE we have developed from our research, listening to our students, collaboration and consistent reflection. We recognize and value the #edugood within our classroom. Our students INSPIRE us daily and provide us with the COURAGE to keep going.
BELIEVE is sure to provide me with a fantastic journey through the new year. I appreciate the power of a simple word: the opportunities it will offer, the messages it will send, and the support it will provide.
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