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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.

BethMooreSchool View All

Literacy Coach, Consultant, Author, Graduate Course Instructor, and Mom. Passionate about fostering a love of reading and writing in learners of all ages.

24 thoughts on “Beth’s OLW for 2018 Leave a comment

  1. I am always amazed at what others see in us…may the strength that others see you resonate within yourself this year! Love the back story about your selection of this OLW


  2. Sometimes we label ourselves while wearing the same lens we had as a child. It has made me realize so many things as a parent. Just as you shared the many meanings of strength I was thinking, and if only as a child we could flip our lens a little bit to see the other side. To see that there are moments when we cry but they don’t define a whole life. You have embraced all that makes you who you are and that is strength. I love how you walked us into your word and I would have to agree with your friend, and your featured image, you are fierce and strong.


  3. So interesting to see personal views and public views – Nope, would always have you on the strength side – the strength of your values and your convictions. May your strengths allow you to grow in 2018!


  4. I always love your posts and would have never considered you weak- just from what I know about you from reading your writing. You are strong and mighty in my eyes. I hope this year brings your great strength.


  5. Funny that many of our conversations have been about phobias, because I have many as well ;). However, just because we don’t want to swim with sharks, doesn’t mean we are weak. As you stated so well, being strong is far more than physical strength. There are so many ways you can show strength from day to day. I can wait to see your growth from strong to stronger this year!


  6. I find the whole idea of OLW to be powerful. Strength, I suspect, changes across time. Your post has given me food for thought. All the best to you in 2018.


  7. I thought for a second, based on the Shakespeare quote, that your OLW would be “fierce!” I thought – oh my, wild! Your examples of strength are powerful, indeed. Strength does seem to emanate from you through your work – I am so reminded of poet Robert Burns’ words that it would be a gift to see ourselves the way others see us. Sometimes that’s true. There’s great strength in this post ….


  8. My students say: “We really enjoyed the way you told several stories because the stories helped us feel like we really understood you. Also, the list of ways to be strong made us think deeply and would help other people learn to be stronger. Don’t feel bad about yourself — you are strong and you should believe that you are strong. Other people might agree with the person who told you that you’re strong! Besides, there’s nothing bad about being weak because everybody has weak spots.”

    And I’d like to add that I was always the shortest person in my class too, so I know how that feels!


  9. It always amazes me when other people tell me their persepective of me. It’s never how I see myself, but somehow always makes me think and then feel good about the “me” they see. “Strength” makes you feel stronger just by saying it, and so all -encompassing. Great word.


  10. My OLW is DETERMINED! I teach special education K-3 and this is one of my classroom expectations. Since we are almost midway through the school year we have been having multiple conversations what determined means. My students have come up with the following: never give up, try new things, can’t say ” I can’t” set small goals. I was very proud of them. I told them for me it was to Not give up on any of my students ( all kids can learn) learn new ways of teaching ( Lucy Calkins ) and meet all my deadlines ( which in special ed is very hard). Together we made that word in big bubble letters and have it displayed. I love the power in that word!


  11. Sometimes it takes the thoughtful observations of others to shed light on who we really are! Thank you for sharing your definition of strength!


  12. I certainly would not characterize you as a weakling. Strength is a great word for embracing that inner part of yourself that you know is there. You go girl!


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