Last year, I didn't officially choose one word at the beginning of 2015. However, when I was dealing with many classroom management issues, after returning from maternity leave, I centered myself around the word "calm." I made a banner that I hung in my classroom and was even the cover photo on my Twitter page!
I tried to keep this word in mind whenever dealing with difficult issues in my life: parenthood, team leader, students, and even challenging adult interactions. It was a great word and perfect for last year.
This year, I wanted to pick a word that I could again apply to both my school life and personal life. I've chosen "authentic."
I chose authentic because I like the idea of trying to stay true to myself and my core beliefs. I don't think that I particularly stray too much from what I believe, however sometimes I am guilty of doing things because "I think I should." There is lots of pressure to be the perfect mother or a perfect teacher. It's impossible to be perfect, and, what is perfect anyway? There are so many different opinions that one persons' perfection is another persons' imperfection! So being my authentic self allows me to:
-Do what I really believe to be best for my family and for my students and release some of the guilt or worry that I'm not doing it like someone thinks I should.
-Model the type of teaching and work that I think is important. Doing my best work is my authentic self.
-Focus on aspects of motherhood and teaching that I think are important. If it's not as important to me, I'm going to send it light and love and "let it go."
-Worry less about what people think or if they disagree. I will, of course, still engage in conversations or debate, but I will not worry if I can't win over everyone.
I'm thinking about having my students choose a word for the year, too! I want them to blog about it on their math blogs. I found a pretty great list of positive words that I think I can share with them for inspiration. More on how that goes in a future post!