Sunday, January 1, 2017

One Little Word 2017

Hello teacher friends. It's been a while.

Back in 2015 I was introduced to the concept of the One Little Word and ever since then, instead of New Year's resolutions, I have decided to use one word to be my theme for the year and my source of motivation and meditation.

My word for 2015 was BRAVE.
Last year my word was DO.

My word for 2017 has proven to be more of a challenge.

In many ways 2016 was a great year for me personally. My husband and I bought a new house in a town we love as the community here very much aligns with our values, we started running over the summer and completed our first 5K in October, in August, I started a new position at my school as the K-8 librarian and am loving every second of spending my day with kids and books,  I presented with some amazing authors like Laurie Halse Anderson, Matt de la Pena and Brendan Kiely at NCTE in November, AND on top of all that, I got to see Hamilton in Chicago.

But 2016 has also been a hard year for reasons I probably don't have to elucidate. That difficulty turned to outright grief when we all woke up on November 9th to a reality that many of us could have never imagined. To realize that we now live in a country that will be led by a man who is not only grossly unqualified for the job, but who is basically a danger to our liberty, values, civil rights, and peace means it's time for many of us to really WAKE UP and SPEAK UP.

So I considered choosing a word like RESIST or PROTEST as my word for 2017, but I didn't want the theme for my year to be about anger and outrage. I also considered SPEAK as my word as reminder that I should not and cannot remain silent as people's rights are violated and lives are put at risk. And while I was on the right track, that too didn't feel right.

And then I was reminded of some very powerful words said by Jason Reynolds at the ALAN workshop in November. He said that if you really want to have hope, you have to go out and DO SOMETHING. We all have to earn our hope. We can't just sit around and wait for our hope to sprout wings and get to work. WE have to do the work.

And with those words still ringing in my ears, I found my word for 2017:
with the reminder that I have to earn it each and every day.
And so when I grab my purse and keys every morning and leave the house, I am reminded every day of what I need to do. I HOPE if you're reading this you will DO SOMETHING to earn yours too.


  1. I struggled finding my word this year too. I've read that from lots of friends and I wonder if the unrest in our political world is the reason for that! I know it did for me. HOPE is such a wonderful word. It's so necessary in this world today. I love what Jason Reynolds said, "We all have to earn our hope." YES! Thank you for sharing!! Happy New Year!

  2. I've always seen "hope" as a word that lifts one up. Thank you for sharing your backstory. Happy New Year!

  3. I have joined several organizations and helping to make plans, have made phone calls, and on. I agree very much that we much "act" on our beliefs. Good for you Beth for starting out!