Monday, January 16, 2017


It took me longer than I originally anticipated to pick my "OneWord" for 2017. At first, a bunch of different words came to mind and I started compiling a mental list. Once my mental list got a bit out of control, I moved my list to the notes on my phone. I would add some words, delete some words, and even modify others. I was struggling to choose because I wanted to select the perfect word for my upcoming year. As the guilt of delay kept piling up, I began to wonder if this challenge of selecting my word wasn't something that deserved a deeper look. I often fall victim to this idea of perfect. Naturally, I want to do everything to the my best my abilities, but sometimes this notion of perfect gets in the way. As time dragged on and I still wasn't deciding, I remembered a quote that I once heard from Kevin Honeycutt- "Perfection is the enemy of done." I was truly stranded from completing my "OneWord" because I was waiting for the perfect word. And then it hit me. I don't have to find the perfect word. I don't have to have the perfect year. I only need to be BETTER than last year. I realized that the word  better applies to so many facets of my life and can be the perfect (pun intended) guide as I navigate through 2017. So here we go- here is what I plan on accomplishing with my #OneWord2017!

Be a better education professional:

Notice how I didn't just say teacher? Being a teacher is just not that simple anymore (was it ever simple?). Being a teacher doesn't involve only standing in front of a room and delivering instruction. It's not only planning lessons, grading assignments and assessments, fostering relationships with students, communicating with parents, collaborating with colleagues, and the list could go on forever. In order to be a better teacher, I need to think of all the aspects of my job that I want to improve. First, I want to get better at regularly posting on my blog. I was really good at this last year and this year it has taken a back seat. Yet every time I sit down to actually write a blog post, it brings me so much joy. In the same vein, I want to be better about Twitter.
Like my blog, this is something I was able to devote more time to last year, and has fallen off this year. I just need to make a plan and assign some time- doesn't have to be much- but make a plan and stick to it. Being better at these two aspects of being an educator will help me in so many ways- growing my professional development, collaborating with other educators, and reflecting on my own teaching. The field of education is constantly changing- and just because we need to change to stay fresh, doesn't mean what we were doing before is wrong. It simply means that things are changing. In order to stay current, relevant, and important, we change, too. This acknowledgment that we need to change it difficult but honorable. I love this quote from Maya Angelou because it points out exactly this logic. Good teachers are always doing the best they can. And that's fantastic and wonderful and kids are learning. However, that best isn't going to be best forever. Once better comes along, we need to adapt ourselves for the sake of our students. It's not undermining what we have done, created, or accomplished in the past. It's simply making a commitment to be better.

Be a better friend, wife, mom, and family member.

This is the point in the reading, when, if you're also a teacher/parent/friend, you're laughing at me- because you know as well as I do that in order to become better at all these things, I am going to need more time. And I'm certainly not going to be creating more hours in the day anytime soon- but part of being the better person at all those things is finding the time and devoting it to where it need to be spent. I'm sure I can spend 25 minutes on laundry instead of 25 minutes catching up on my queue in Hulu, I'd certainly be helping out my fabulous husband who carries the weight of all of us more often than I'd like to admit here.
Or instead of checking my phone/facebook/twitter a million times a day (don't judge!), I could use that phone to call my friends/family to check in and simply talk- for the sake of cultivating the relationships and nothing more. In terms of being a better mom, I could elevate the time I already spend with them into more meaningful activities. Sometimes it's all I can do to just come home from work and sit and talk/hang out with them. And that's great and wonderful and 100% acceptable. But I'm thinking that at least a couple of those instances can be upgraded to playing a game (even if it is the same one over and over!) or creating something together. Considering time has gone so quickly this far,  I'm not delusional to think my tiny humans will stay ages 5 and 4 forever- but I am crazy if I think that I can cash in these "play a game with me, mom!" and "mom, do you want to color?" moments forever. They're growing up, and the better me this year simply can't afford to miss a single moment. I will never, ever, ever (X a million) be the perfect mom, but I can definitely be better.

This blog post is more humbling than I originally anticipated. I feel like in order to write this, I've been more reflective than I originally thought and more open to criticism than I would've planned. But hey, that's what being better is all about. It's safe to say that I knew I wasn't perfect when I began this post- hence my "OneWord" selection, but I didn't know how much thinking about being better would actually change my outlook on the upcoming year. As I stated in the opening- I was so torn on finding the perfect word- yet now that this post is coming to an end, I really feel at peace with my choice- and do think, strangely, that better  really is the perfect word for me. And who knows, maybe we can grow together this year...after all:

Here's to becoming better together in 2017!


  1. The extra time reflecting on your word made for a lovely post!

    1. Thank you! I really enjoyed writing this one!

  2. Such a great reflection! Can I say Better is a perfect word after reading your post!? Lol

    1. Thanks for reading Jane! And I agree- it feels perfect!