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Kathleen’s OLW for 2018

There are a lot of “shoulds” in my life. I should drink more water. I should keep better conference notes. I should eat more vegetables and consume less sugar. I should put my phone down more often. I should read all the books I’ve bought. I should use my writer’s notebook. I should call my friends more. I should check on my neighbor more often. I should be more up to date on doctor’s appointments. I should clean out my pocketbook…

I have many excuses for my “shoulds” not getting done. But excuses mean all those “shoulds” never seem to happen and I stay… exactly where I am.

In 2018, I want to grow. I want to learn. I want to DO more and DO better. My One Little Word (OLW) for 2018 is DO.

Some of my goals for 2018 include being healthier, reading more, writing more, thinking more deeply. I want to stop cursing the darkness and start lighting more candles. I want to become a Google Certified Educator (level 1 is a good place to start.) I want to find more joy in teaching. Do more laughing with my students, do more reading aloud- just because, do more of what makes their hearts sing with purpose than the drudgery that can so often be school.

In my non-teaching moments, I want to do more with my family and savor this unique time in our lives. I’m more and more aware of time speeding by. Where I used to have two babies, I now have a first grader and an almost five year old who will start kindergarten in 2018. Life is moving fast and the time to DO is now. Snuggle more, read together more, play together more.

In my December post, More Wishes, I referenced Amy Krouse Rosenthal and her book Textbook (not exactly a memoir). In that book, on page 305, Amy writes a multiple choice question:

In the alley, there is a bright pink flower peeking out through the asphalt.

a. It looks like futility.

b. It looks like hope. 

I’m choosing hope. I want to be the bright pink flower that peeks through the asphalt, that isn’t paralyzed by the hard coldness around her, that knows she might be alone but chooses to bloom anyway. This is my year to DO all the good I can for myself, my family, my students, my community, my world.

I’ve created a Padlet of quotes to inspire my year to “DO.”  What word will you live by this year?

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

  • This giveaway is for Ali Edwards’ One Little Word® 2018 Workshop. Many thanks to Ali Edwards Design Inc. for donating this workshop.

  • For a chance to win this copy of the One Little Word® 2018 Workshop, please leave a comment on any (or all) of our team members OLW blog posts by Sunday, January 7th, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Stacey Shubitz will use a random number generator to pick the winner, whose names she will announce on the Two Writing Teachers Facebook page by Tuesday, January 9th.

  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so Stacey can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win.  From there, our contact at Ali Edwards Design Inc. will provide you with a code for the One Little Word® 2018 Workshop. (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)

  • If you are the winner of this workshop, Stacey will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – OLW. Please respond to Stacey’s e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.

34 thoughts on “Kathleen’s OLW for 2018 Leave a comment

  1. Oh man. I haven’t chosen a word yet, but this one is a great one. I keep having to remind myself that forward progress is more important than perfection (or expectations)–this may be it!

    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. This is the OLW I’ve settled on! 2017 was diligent, which helped me improve but I’m still not getting where I want to be, so im thinking simplify it. You stated the thoughts I haven’t been able to coalesce inteligently. ” I want to grow. I want to learn. I want to DO more and DO better. ” I was inspired by the years old motivational classroom poster, ” Do is the first part of Done”. Heres to DO! 18

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  3. Your “should” list is so oddly familiar! Isn’t it funny how we can focus so much on all that we should do without even realizing all that we CAN and HAVE done! I hope you find “DO” helps you get to more things that are on the top of your list and also helps you cut off the shoulds that are less important so they don’t drag you down. Amy Krouse Rosenthal has been in my head ever since Tuesday when you posted her video. I had to watch it across three days and now I have to go get Textbook back out and reread it. She certainly was a “doer” in a way that was very visible.

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  4. There’s such power in the simple word, “Do!” What a great OLW. The spin from should to do is empowering! I also love your resolve to laugh more with your students and find more joy in teaching. That’s something I’m struggling with right now. Wishing you a wonderful year with your OLW!

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    • Teaching is so hard and all the pressures can make it seem joyless at times. Staying true to what I know is good for students helps me enjoy teaching so much more. Thanks for your comment and wishing you the best 2018 too!

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    • Thank you so much! “DO” is already pushing me. On the first day back to work, I was so exhausted. I have to remember that “DO” is something to constantly work towards but each day won’t always be easy…

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  5. I read AKR’s “Textbook” last spring after her death, and as her short life shows, the time to do is now. Life is fleeting. Every day I think about how short my own time w/ students is and how soon they will graduate, and I will retire. Yes, try is an intangible. All we have is what we do right here, right now.

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    • Wasn’t it a powerful read? I come back to it often. I always think about what Amy said about green tree tops and blue skies- it’s a thought I’ve had since childhood and she expressed it so beautifully. Thank you Glenda, for your comment!

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    • Thank you, my friend. You DO so much already for Kyle and your students, and all of us LI teachers you inspire with Nerd Camp. I’d say you are already a do-er.

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  6. What a perfectly timed post. I heard so many “should do” moments when I was making my list of what I needed to get done this break. Just changing my own self talk to do gave me such a confidence boost and I felt happy. Thank you for your words and giving me pause to reflect. I’m working on my my OLW right now.

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  7. This has inspired me to think about what I want to choose as OLW this year. Perhaps WRITE – I am trying to create for myself a writing kind of life. I love the pink flower – I have printed it out to post above my desk! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  8. Brilliant and on point word Kathleen. Probably a word that we “should” all consider! I love your line about stopping cursing the darkness and starting to light candles. My word this year is “shine.” Happy New Year to you.

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  9. Wonderful inspiration! “Do” is a word that can be remembered and applied in so many situations. I love quotes but I often jot them down and then forget where they are. I “should”, no, I will try a padlet. Thanks, and Happy 2018.

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  10. The “shoulds” can drive you crazy, but with a positive spin around to “Do”, you are empowered to make a difference. At my stage in life, I’m much more inclined to be than do. I’ve always been one to do too much. Stay in control of your OLW; don’t let it control you.

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  11. Do is wonderful word. Your slice explains the value of do – personally and professionally. The inspiration from Amy, I’m sure will feed your year with “do”. Thanks again for sharing not only your word, but you, in your writing. You are inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. So much inspiration here … stop cursing the darkness, light more candles … so in line with my own thinking when I chose my OLW. The Yoda quote is one of my all-time favorites; it’s up in my room at school as a daily reminder. With regard to “should”: Long ago, a mentor told me “Don’t should on yourself.” The turn of phrase makes me laugh even now, but what priceless advice! “Should” will keep us paralyzed and indecisive, maybe even resentful – “do” implies breaking chains and barriers, overcoming hurdles, actually getting somewhere, not making excuses. Such power in such a simple word. Much success and covered ground to you this year~

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