The Reflection Pool

One Word for 2015

flickr-wordsIt’s time again for the annual look forward post. I wasn’t going to do one this year, because reflection isn’t a once a year thing for me, but I was nudged by Glenn Robbins, a principal in New Jersey, who shared his end-of-year post. In it, he was inspired by Jon Gordon come up with one word instead of a list of resolutions. Jon Gordon’s idea is a powerful one and I loved it.

My word is CHANGE.

At first read, it doesn’t seem particularly earth shattering or insightful. We talk about change all the time. Some rejoice in it, some lament it. But this word really fits for me. I like change. I find it exciting and full of possibilities. Of course, change can be so difficult. I’ve been through many changes throughout my life, including schools, homes, relationships, cities, and jobs. The constant is that I have grown stronger and learned so much from each change, large or small, and that has enriched my life immeasurably.

I want to improve every day. I want to listen better, to know more, to be more empathetic, to find out about new ideas. I want to discover new authors to read. I want to understand how people live. I want to bring equity to the forefront for everyone so we can remove barriers for our students. I want to speak Spanish! I want to grow in my faith. I want to be a better partner and friend. I want to remember people’s birthdays more. I want to support and celebrate those I work with while always urging and inspiring them to reflect and be better.

All of these require change. Most of them will happen as I make small, incremental steps towards the person I want to be and the life I want to have. When I look back throughout this coming year and again next December, I want to know that these changes helped me improve.

Now, it’s your turn. What’s your word for 2015? What word can you choose that will provide focus for you?


(Here is my brief new year’s post from last year.)

13 thoughts on “One Word for 2015

  1. Sue, I relate to the word you chose. Like you, I like change too, and the many ways you hope to change resonate with me too. In fact, almost everything you write resonates with me and I’m thankful I get to confer with you online. My word is love. It’s a word, I’ve shied from for multiple reasons though I’ve been fortunate to be gifted with the love of many throughout my life. Finally, I’m embracing that word as a way of being. I’m blogging about it daily:

    I look forward to your continued reflection on “change” and everything else you do with regard to learning and teaching. Happy New Year! – Maureen

  2. Thanks for this idea! I’ve been looking for a slightly different way of formulating goals for this year. My word is the verb EMBRACE. What I most need is to take action yet I want a word that is not aggressive and that has some nuance–I can embrace wholeheartedly and also with a lighter touch when called for. So, embrace the task at hand, embrace the opportunity, embrace the fear (of going to the doctor), embace love, embrace the weather. This will get me moving. All the best to everyone!

  3. Thank you Sue for this considerate reflection forward. The idea of “change” can evoke fear, excitement, or both in all of us. It is this type of thinking that can also inspire others as you share your goals, vision and leadership. All the best in 2015.

  4. Hi Sue.
    I enjoyed reading your post. Interesting comments from others. I like the word CHANGE as well. My word for 2015 is SHARING. Many of my teaching and learning goals this school year involve sharing my classroom inquiry and technology implementation ‘best practices’ with my grade team colleagues and other staff members at Ancaster Meadow. I believe that sharing ideas will help us to continue to move forward together on our teaching/learning journey.
    All the best in 2015, Sue.

      1. Hi Sue, thanks for your quick reply. I have completed my term one reports so now I have some time to reflect and reply to your question :).
        I have a few examples where I really try to make an effort by sharing my ideas, experiences and interests with my students.
        1. At least once a week, usually Monday, the whole class participates in sharing their weekend highlights, or brags and drags. I call it ‘ball toss’. I toss a soft ball to those that want to share. This activity breaks the ice to get a great start to the week. The best part is we learn about other classmates traditions, cultures, and share a few laughs. I participate as well.
        2. I share as many teaching resources and learning tools with the students so they can engage and make more connections to what they are learning e.g. current events using the newspaper, websites, great books that have relevant and interesting material to reinforce their inquiry learning.
        3. I share my time e.g. share my coaching experiences, currently coaching jr boys basketball; help students at homework club, Eco-school projects, etc…
        4. I share assessment data with students so they can develop their next learning steps.
        5. I share my teaching lessons with staff and motivate the students to share their learning. Today, my students invited another grade 7 class and our principal to observe and listen to our inquiry learning projects. I believe it is important to model for the students that I am willing to share with others and I will share their successes too. I hope this will inspire the other students/teacher to do the same. Sharing our learning accomplishments can be very heart-warming.

          1. Hi Sue, thank you for the kind words of encouragement. I have a class blog on the HWDSB but not a professional blog, yet. I will consider getting my own. Thanks.

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