Beth’s OLW for 2018

And Though she be but little, she is fierce

Every year on picture day in elementary school they would make us line up by height, and the arrange us ever so carefully in rows for the class photo. The tallest people stood on chairs in the back, medium-height kids stood in front of them standing on the floor, and the shorter kids sat on chairs in front of those kids. And then, the shortest person in the class sat on the dirty cafeteria floor in front of the the kids in chairs, and held the sign.

That person was me.

I was often the shortest person in my class. I also cried a lot. Like… a lot, a lot. I also seemed to always have a terrible ear-ache, or a bad cough, or headaches… you name it. I was exceptionally clumsy. And forgetful. Basically, I was a weakling.

And I’m still a weakling in so many ways. I haven’t gotten any better–just older. And more complicated. Weakness is my middle name, and I’m okay with that.

Or at least that’s what I thought–what I have always thought–until recently.

In the middle of a conversation about phobias (yep, that’s a normal topic of conversation for me), someone I admire told me, “But you’re such a strong person! I can’t imagine you being afraid of that!” This was so shocking to me that I didn’t even register the rest of the conversation. “Wait… What?… Me?…” I was thinking. “Strong?”  It’s been a week since that conversation, and I haven’t stopped turning that idea over and over in my mind. Me… a strong person?

So, my One Little Word for 2018 is STRENGTH. Not just for me, but for my daughter and my son, too. And for the students I work with, and the teachers, and school leaders.

Strength means having patience.

Strength means being able to laugh in the face of danger.

Strength means being able to get back up again when I fall.

Strength means deciding when not to speak.

Strength means managing stress.

Strength means staying healthy.

Strength means owning my mistakes.

Strength means following through.

Strength means getting over it.

Strength means pushing myself… just a little… or maybe a lot.

Happy New Year, readers! And may 2018 be a strong year for all of you!


  • 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.