Reflecting on #OneWord2019

In 2019, my One Word was intentional.

I set out the new year with a focus on being more intentional in my teaching practice, about my mental health, and generally in my life. I wanted to be more present in the moment and focus on eating healthier. I also wanted to grow professionally, continue writing and sharing my passion in the world of education.

Wow, has it been an incredible year. As I look back on everything that has happened the last 12 months, I am honestly shocked at just how much is there.

I can honestly say that my word, my focus, for the year helped center me. It truly helped me hone in on what I wanted to accomplish, and at times, gave me the courage I needed to take a leap. And that has made all the difference.

Because of my intentionality this past year, I’ve made connections and had opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. My involvement with the Teach Better team, presenting at NCTE, having conversations about equitable practices… none of this would have occurred without my word. Without my focus on it.

In my #OneWord2019 post, I wrote about my desire to emulate Cornelius Minor’s notion in his book, We Got This. I wanted to be more intentional about designing curriculum that would empower my students, that would give room for their voice.

Not only was I very intentional about this work of student empowerment, but I also worked with other educators on how to bring that practice into their classrooms. And I got the awesome opportunity to chat further with Cornelius, discussing this philosophy and how it can work for other teachers.

My #OneWord2019 was a great one. It was a powerful one. It led me to some of the most transformational practices I’ve had to date. From it, I grew and became more connected. I found inspiration in study and research. I conducted action research with a group of other devoted educators, which was something I had never done before.

Intentionality led me to a deeper, more developed level of my practice. It allowed me to become a stronger educator.

I’m still deciding on my one word for 2020. I’m still mulling over what I want to focus on in this coming year.

What I do know is this: Having a center, a guiding purpose, a mantra for my year helped me more than I could have imagined. More than I could have hoped. With 2020 comes a fresh start, a new beginning. A time for optimism, bravery, and the setting of new intentions.

And though we go through many changes in our lives and in our careers, always evolving as a result of new learning and experience, I know that 2019 was a massive shift for me. One that has radically changed my thinking and my approach in fundamental ways.

2019 was an incredible year, and it all began with my desire to be more intentional.

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