Monday, January 4, 2016

Participating in AND Rebelling against One Word


It's very current (or popular / trendy / fashionable / "in", depending on what tone or attitude you'd like to take towards the practice) to select one word that is your focus for the year.

David Fife's word is mindful.
Heather Theijsmeijer's word is reflection. (Last year, it was jump.)
Julie Balen's word is discipline. (Last year, it was innovation. The year before, it was equity.)
Aviva Dunsiger's word is hear. (Last year, it was listen, and uncomfortable.)
Kristi Keery Bishop's word is stretch.

I only mentioned the ones with blog posts attached, because I really like hearing about the process in deciding a word, or the rationale behind the word. It's not easy, as Rusul's recent tongue-in-cheek tweet indicates.
I even noticed that my sister-in-law, a teacher with the Baltimore County Public School system, selected and "Instagrammed" her One Word: "balance".

This sounds like a good idea. Goals are good, right?
And yet, there were some aspects that made me, to borrow Aviva's word, uncomfortable.

What if I'm bandwagoning?
Why declare it now? (Others did it at the beginning of the school year, instead of the calendar year.)
What will the true impact of this public declaration be for me? What will it do?

That's why my word is both supporting and challenging the OneWord concept.


I've already set some decent goals. There's no need to abandon them. Keep going.

1) In August, my husband and I decided to try and take better care of ourselves, by exercising more, and paying closer attention to what we eat. I'm pleased with our progress - when we last checked before the holiday gluttony, James lost 23 pounds and I lost 8 pounds. I want to continue my work on maintaining a healthy body. I'll continue to do it with:
a) daily walks with my colleagues in the community,
b) using Wii Fit,
c) avoiding snacks and eating after 9:00 p.m.
d) reducing portion sizes (and keeping to my weekday yogurt/granola lunches)

2) I altered my Annual Learning Plan to reflect my last performance appraisal, which was in May 2015. All of the goals my administrator wrote began with the word "continue".
a) to work on [my] literacy research project examining the impact of student choice reading awards programs
b) to explore collaborative / research opportunities with staff and outside professional organizations
c) to examine ways to modify / differentiate and support ELL and exceptional learners within [my] program planning
d) to develop and expand [my] assessment strategies / descriptive feedback to better support student achievement and accountability of parents of students taught

3) I went to confession just before Christmas to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, a very Catholic thing to do. I won't list my sins or penance here - after all, I received absolution, and what happens in the confessional stays in the confessional. However, my goal is to continue to address the flaws I see in myself spiritually by:
a) praying (especially at the beginning of the day and the end of the night)
b) reflecting on Scriptures (thank goodness I get a daily email with it, no excuses)
c) matching my actions to my beliefs
(And Pope Francis declared this a global jubilee year, the Year of Mercy. It's not exactly like #oneword, but it's pretty close!)

1 comment:

  1. I really like your one word: "continue." This allows you to work on your current goals and move forward. I'll admit that last year, I wondered if I was just jumping on the bandwagon as well (I never declared a "one word goal" before that), but I like having a goal, and this helped me stay focused. And after reflecting on being "uncomfortable" for many months, I decided to change my One Word Goal, and I think that's okay too. I may even change this one throughout the year -- we'll see. I'd love to hear how your many goals go, as you focus on "continuing."