A few years ago I began to realize the inspirational power of Jon Gordon's gifts as a writer, when I read The Energy Bus. The lessons which included taking responsibility for ones own life, making good choices and surrounding yourself with positive people all resonated with me at the time, as I was undergoing a personal and professional transformation. I was looking to grow and Jon's book was contributing to the inspiration.
Last year in early January, I read a blog post written by Gordon that emphasized the power of committing to just "one word" over the course of the year in order to create more "meaning and focus " for ones life.(www.jongordon.com/blog/one-word-that-will-change-your-life-2/).
Inspired by the article, my word for 2015 became "passion." Every personal and professional endeavor was pursued with an increased level of energy and passion. As a result 2015 was ultimately more positive and productive in various aspects of my life. I was experiencing greater levels of joy, strengthening existing relationships and building new ones. Opportunities for growth were becoming available and I was taking advantage of them. Passion began to replace existing fears and avoidance was reaplaced by action. I was living a more rewarding and fulfilling life.
This year as we ushered in the new year I began to contemplate my "one word" for 2016. I realized that as a writer and an educator, words mean a great deal me, especially when they precede action. Therefore committing to one word over 365 days just wouldnt do. I realized what was necessary for my continued personal and professional growth was a commitment to a multitude of words.
The following are a sampling of the words that I will consistently commit to in my quest to stay on the top of my game throughout 2016.
Authentic- Every effort will be made to create opportunities that allow my students to pursue real world learning experiences. I will continue to pursue those professional development opportunities that yield the most potential for strengthening my craft and improving my practice. An emphasis will continue to be placed on providing students with choices and on developing their individual voices.
Challenge- To prevent complacency and ensure growth I will continue to push my students to levels beyond what they believe they are capable.
Furthermore I will continue to consistently step out of my comfort zone and continue to take risks that will allow me to grow professionally,
Inspire- I pledge to continue to use any available medium to bring excitement, energy and passion to the culture within our classroom community. Moreover I will continue to exhaust all efforts to elevate my personal spirit as well.
Reflection- Improvement will only occur as my students continue to honestly assess their performance and their approach to learning. This practice must be guided, modeled and supported in order to ensure that growth is achieved. If I am to continue to maintain a classroom culture which fosters student growth and promotes a love of learning, reflection must remain an integral part of my practice.
Relationships- In order to serve those who depend upon me it is is vital that I understand them as people. The only way to do that is to cultivate relationships that are based on love, trust and respect. I must be present, interested and invested in all of the relationships that are part of my life.
Connected-I will continue to make valuable connections with amazing educators from all over the world. These connections continue to provide me with inspiration and various resources that allow me to elevate my practice.
The preceding list of words represents just a sampling of those I willl commit to in order to fulfill my responsibilities professionally and personally. Dedication to "one word" is admirable, It definitely produces the desired results for some, but for me , committing to just "one word", just won't do.
I will continue to identify my "words to live by" and then do so accordingly.