Category Archives: Word of the Year

One Little Word 2017

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In January, I chose the word DARE as my one word for the year. Something happened along the way. I sort of dropped out of following the word through the year.

But then, something else happened. I dared to go back to full-time teaching! I started a new job with Newberry Academy. I took on the head of school’s “dare” to teach/advise the desktop publishing class, aka yearbook, something I’ve never, ever done before. And I “dared” to teach world history. Keep in mind, I am a certified ENGLISH teacher. I’ve never taught a social studies class before in my entire career.

I love it! I love teaching in a small, intimate private school. I know my students—and am getting to know their parents on a first name basis. Seriously. Of course, I discovered that I’ve taught some of the parents before in my life as a public school teacher. And then, there is the one student whom my own son taught when he was the middle school band director in town! That’s a sobering thought. . . . I have a son old enough to teach middle school students who are now my high school students.

This year, as I looked at Ali Edwards One Little Word class and wondered momentarily whether I should take it or not—and I am—my word came to me:  GROW.

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Odd.  I will be sixty years old in February 2018. And I feel I am still growing.  I talked to the head of school last week and told him I’d like to take the AP certification course this summer. He’s willing to pay half tuition. I believe it will “grow” me as a teacher. Besides, I haven’t taken a formal literature/education class in more years than I can remember. I am looking forward to professional growth.

And I signed up for the “graduate” course with Emma Davies and A Year with My Camera. I want to grow as a photographer. I will be teaching my yearbook students more about photography next year so that we get some really interesting story-telling photographs for the yearbook.

I want to grow as a creative person. I want to grow my writing. I haven’t put much effort into my novel in the last weeks. I plan to do that during this Christmas holiday break. I am going to live up to my word that I won’t answer any emails until I go back to school on January 3. Nope, I just won’t do it.

There is the old saying, “Bloom where you are planted.” Well, I may not “bloom” this year, but I do intend to grow—personally, professionally, creatively.

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The Third Quarter Has Begun

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I realized I have not written since June.  So much has happened since my last post, namely I am leaving my part-time teaching position to take  full-time teaching job in a local private school beginning in two weeks.

This is the year of living daringly, of taking chances, of stepping into new possibilities.

Moving back into secondary education is definitely something I had not expected to do, though the possibility has always been there. And now that I think about it, I am ready to take this dare.  It will certainly be a challenge with six preps, including two things I’ve never done before professionally: teaching World History and advising the school yearbook/Desktop Publishing class.  I said the head of school (aka headmaster) suckered me into the latter assignment.  But seriously, I would not have accepted it if I had not wanted to give it a try.

Going from teaching four days a week to five, teaching for four weeks with a month off between mods, will certainly take some getting used to!  I will have to figure out ways to keep up with my creative pursuits and my photography in different ways.  I will also have to figure out new ways to work in practice time at the piano.  Jack’s wedding will be here before you know it!

I hadn’t given the word of the year much thought in the last couple of months, but somehow, I think the dare was working in the background. I realize that I have been out of the secondary classroom for six years.  I will have to re-evaluate what I have been doing for the last few years at Remington.  I will have to re-learn how to relate to teenagers and preteens (I will have that one class of squirrelly seventh graders! In a way, I am looking forward to teaching those middle-schoolers!) And I will have to give myself the pep talk almost daily that I can teach World History.  (It’s just another form of ELA, right?  Reading, thinking critically, analyzing, synthesizing. . . . )

And so, a new school year begins. . . . .

Besides, this new teaching job gives me an excuse to shop the school supplies and office supplies and find really neat stuff to use!