Teacher and life-long learner looking for innovative ways to inspire the students I teach. Middle school reading interventionist (grades 6-8) in Texas, yearbook adviser, & student advocate looking to grow my PLN with real people and real solutions.
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What's Your One Word?
Each year at our Back-to-School Celebration for our campus we are always challenged and inspired to dream big for the upcoming school year. This year our principal at the time, Mrs. Dickerson, asked us to think of one word that we hoped to embody this school year. One word that meant something to us. One word that evoked emotion and "umph" for a better lack of word.
I thought a great deal about my word. If you know me well, you know I tend to live in the future... always thinking ahead to what tomorrow will hold- even though everyone, even the Lord, tells me NOT to do this. That being said, the moment of today is often missed and while I enjoy the moment of NOW, I don't always embrace it as I should. Sometimes I am already thinking ahead to "if this...then that" scenarios and trying to trouble shoot. I guess I am a problem solver by nature. So my word for this year became "Enjoy."
To me, Enjoy meant to enjoy the moment. To live in the present, to embrace what life throws at you and enjoy the moment of it- good or bad. I carefully drew my word out neatly and creatively on the index cards we were given and turned it in. Happy that the mission was accomplished, and I could check it off my list.
Several weeks later the words we made were put upon the wall in the hallway leading to the teacher's lounge.... all there to remind us of our own personal hope for the school year. There to scream at us as we pass by each day. There to sing to us when we are weary and tattered from a rough day. So, it comes as no surprise that I've still been thinking about my word "Enjoy" (and yes, I capitalized it because I wanted it to have authority).
While "Enjoy" is a perfectly fine word, I can't say with 100% confidence it is one I have embraced all school year. Instead, a new word surfaced, and surprisingly I am really ok with it. In fact, I love it. The word you ask?--- MESSY.
Earlier this year, I had an epiphany about this word in my life and what it meant to me. I realized in my personal life that while I want desperately to solve the problems I face before I even know them, it isn't always realistic. So sadly, I am in many ways setting myself up for failure. There is nothing wrong with Enjoy but in order to Enjoy, you must first realize it will be Messy and be ok with that; at peace with it.
Life is messy and so is teaching. While I would love to be 100% organized and efficient, the fact is no teacher is 100% prepared for the wild-card that will be thrown their way that morning. Each day is a new day with (for me) 63 different variables and factors (and then add in my own 2 kids- 65). Each day- as prepared as I am to teach X, sometimes Y throws a curve-ball. We talk a great deal about teacher flexibility, and I'm very flexible, but being ok and happy with it can sometimes be more of a challenge... especially for someone crazy enough to think she can look ahead and fix problems before they appear.
So- I officially declare my new word as- Messy. I embrace it. I realize that statistically many times learning is just that- messy. As idyllic as I'd like it to be- it's just not me. Messy suits me more anyway. And... I think I enjoy that.
So... we only have a short time to go this school year, but what would your word be for these last few weeks with your kids? What ever it is- Embrace it. Work it. Enjoy it. Feel free to declare your word in the comments! I would love to hear it!!
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