Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Word of the Year

Many people use the start of a new year (whether it's the calendar year or the school year) to make a resolution. Something they want to focus on, improve, or change for the better. I think it's a great idea, but I've never liked that the scope had to be so limited.

Some of my friends from the Google Teacher Academy have proposed a one-word motivation for the year. I love this idea. It's broad enough that it can be applied over a long period of time, so it can remain central to me for an entire year.

+Christopher McGee gave a great talk about saying yes to opportunities that come your way. I've tried to do this over the course of my career, and it's been a great way to get accustomed to taking risks and seizing opportunity. I feel like I've got a handle on saying yes. It's now a gut reaction, when someone offers a chance for something new and interesting, I'll say yes. So while I love this idea, my focus this year won't be on saying yes. Not because I don't think it's valuable (quite the contrary, in fact). Mainly because I feel like I can do this already. It's not going to demand growth and risk on my part.

So I've decided on one word for this year. It will be the central principle behind what I do in work, what I do in my free time, and what I want to accomplish. An active word that I can think of as I attempt whatever I put my mind to.


I want to empower myself to make real change in the world. I want to empower my friends to do great things. I want to empower my colleagues to succeed.

I pledge to empower teachers to use technology effectively. I want to provide them with the knowledge and the mindset to do new things. I want them to feel empowered to make mistakes. I want them to feel that they can grow and share.

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