Just one little word? The idea was to ditch the traditional New Year's resolution and come up with a single word that really spoke to you, a word that could focus your thoughts and efforts, a word that would be your springboard into the New Year. A stream of words flowed into my mind and swirled around in my head... Finally, one word floated up: INSPIRE.
I hope to inspire others this year, and to be inspired myself. I'm inspired by educators like Vicki Davis who has written two books and is working on a third, who shares technical tips on her CoolCatTeacher blog, and who encourages me with the words she writes on facebook. Vicki reminds me that the most important thing to do is to take "turtle steps" - not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the journey ahead, but to pick three tools to learn and focus on taking one step at a time.
I'm inspired by the many people I've met through Twitter who are now an integral part of my Personal Learning Network (PLN). People like Kevin Honeycutt, who battled his way out of poverty and a difficult childhood, and with the help of expert teachers like Sandy Martin, finally found his footing in school. I'm inspired by Angela Maiers, who cultivates the genius in people around her, and reminds us that we have an obligation to own our genius, to use our gifts to serve others, and to be brave. I'm inspired by Todd Nesloney, who works tirelessly to support the students at his school, yet still finds the time to run the EduAllStars podcast and coordinate the Educator Learning Series so everyone can have access to high-quality, free professional learning. These are just a few of the people who are my teachers every day - and of course, there are many more.
If there's one thing I've learned in this past year, it's that I have a lot to learn. But even though I'm a "lead learner," I can still pass along my knowledge to others through my posts on Twitter or through my Stretch Education facebook page. Some of you may just be starting out on the path to becoming a connected educator, while others of you may already be very far along the road. But wherever you are, you can always reach out to the people around you and inspire them to take the next step, to equip and encourage them so they will be better prepared for the journey ahead.
"Inspire" is my #onelittleword for 2015. What's yours?