A few years ago I started participating in Ali Edwards’ “One Little Word”. I think Stacey, of TwoWritingTeachers, first introduced me to the concept, and it’s stuck ever since. I’ve even done OLW with my students.
In 2011 my freshman all chose One Little Word, wrote it on an index card that they decorated, and then hung it in our classroom for the remainder of the year. At the end of the year one of the girls took that “quilt” home. This year, she brought it back to school and it hangs in the senior lounge. I love looking back on what those students deemed important as freshmen and what they grew into today. It’s such a valuable exercise and one I plan on repeating with my current freshman class.
I spent a lot of time pondering my word choice for this year. On my many daily dog walks I would let my mind wander as I tried to decide what I wanted to focus on this year. First I debated choosing “run” and realized that was too specific. Then I thought I’d do something health related. Nah. For a bit I settled on “committed” and thought I had it! But then I realized committing is actually my problem! I don’t know how to say no to anything and as a result, my work-life balance can suffer. And that’s when it came to me.
Balance. My One Little Word for 2014.
To strike a balance between work and work and work. To learn how to say no when I need to do so. To say yes to the good things. To balance my reading and writing. To balance my life as Sarah with my life as Mrs. Gross. at HTHS. To balance my life in general.
I am going to have a student teacher this semester and I think this word will help me set a good example for her, too. All too often, teachers try to do it all and be it all. It’s important to remember that we are more than teachers! We are spouses, siblings, children, pet owners, crafters, business owners, writers, readers, health nuts, bakers, shoppers, decorators, and everything else in between! And that’s ok.
What is your One Little Word for 2014?