Image Source: www.getoneword.com
Change - this is my one word for 2014. As I read several of the #oneword tweets yesterday, I was inspired to come up with a word for myself. I thought about it all day yesterday and slept on it. As soon as I opened my eyes this morning, I knew my one word had to be change.
I recently read a blog post written by Jimmy Casas on his blog, Passion...Purpose...Pride, titled Leaders Strive to be Tomorrow...Today. As I read his post, I realized that I have spent much of my educational career worrying about what others think and I have given others the authority to take away my passion. I have hesitated to do anything outside of what is expected for fear of being thought of as different or eccentric. I have wavered in my resolve to share things like Twitter and my PLN because I knew that there would be those that would say I spend too much time working or I was trying too hard. When in reality, it's not working...it's learning. It's taking time to make myself better by learning from others...learning from some of the best in the world.
Like Mr. Casas, another educator's comment helped me put things into perspective. A couple of weeks ago, a past superintendent sent me a message on Facebook that redirected my thinking. Mrs. Kucera told me that I had "a passion for the work that lies ahead." I immediately thought of what I had been teaching my students lately about finding their passions and how important it was to engage in activities that were meaningful to them. Had I been hypocritical in asking them to do so when I wasn't even doing this myself? How could I tell them to step out there and become innovators when I was too scared to do so? Mrs. Kucera was right...I do have a passion for what lies ahead. So, why in the world have I been afraid to share that passion with others?
So back to my one word...change. The definition of change is "to make or become different." So, starting today, I will spend my career trying to make things different. Our education system needs to change. Our students deserve change. It's up to us to cause that change and make education different for students in our classrooms today.
In reading Jimmy Casas's blog, I was also reminded of Gandhi's words - "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Being the change means not being afraid to think outside the box. It means not being afraid to try new things and share them with others. And most importantly, it means being yourself and taking back the authority to be excellent.
Right before the break, I joined Twitter and began building my PLN. I have learned so much from people like @donwettrick, @techbradwaid, @techminock, @techninjatodd, @daisyray215, @kleinerin, @joykirr, @paulsolarz, @terrieichholz, @venspired, and many more. While I have only learned from these wonderful people virtually by reading their blog posts and tweets, they have all played a role in my desire to change the way I teach as well the way that my students learn. They have inspired me to become different, to make things different...to change.
Thank you for taking time to read about my one word. What is your one word for 2014? Please feel free to comment below and share your word. I would also love for you to follow my blog and/or follow me on Twitter.
Happy New Year!