RELENTLESS #OneWord2019

Thank You for Caring, But

So, my entrance into social media as an educator in 2016 has sucked me into the whirlwind of letting go of those pesky New Year’s resolutions in favor of that one adoring word that can guide us through the upcoming year. That word can be a light that shines down on all that we do, illuminating areas in our lives and the day to day grind that are applicable. My first tentative #OneWord was born that January, 2016. I chose Courage. To my surprise, I did think about it throughout the whole year. I had stated publicly that Courage was the word that would be my guiding light, so I had to be brave. I was. I tried things that wouldn’t have before. I wrapped myself up in a cape of Courage, and I did stuff. I slayed a few dragons of fear. That was 2016.

Tonight the Lights Will Take Me Where I Long to Be

When 2017 rolled around, I was ready. Now I understand the power that one word, one person, one thought, and one voice can have on a classroom, school, district, community, state, nation, and beyond. Technology connects us like never before. Teachers with YouTube channels aren’t just affecting the 20-30 students in front of them. They reach thousands. Some reach millions. So I pondered my word carefully, and I chose Belief. Under the soft luminescence of that word, I focused my efforts on believing in myself, my students, and the power of positivity. I’m finding my voice, my power. So I poured my own light into my students, myself, my colleagues, and my endeavors. I spoke at conferences outside of my own state for the first time ever. I took some big steps in 2018. What in the world could I choose for 2019?

Give me the lights

Relentless. The incandescent pulsing of that word pulls at me. Relentless. There are negative connotations, sure, like incessant, oppressively constant, interminable, and more. Yes, I know. But that’s not the light I will aim at this year. I will blaze my light of positivity. I will radiate with unrelenting pursuit of excellence in serving my family, my students, my district, my church, my band, and all who need that light.

Give Me My Hope

Relentless. I will be unceasing in my efforts to build relationships with students and staff, persistent in my efforts to help those around me find their own light, their own voice, their own power. I will encounter the student who wants to stay in the darkness. That student who doesn’t outwardly want help or encouragement, or seemingly to graduate from high school. I will not stop. My energies will glow stronger in the darkness. I will find ways to engage that student and entice him or her out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves. Baby steps. Putting one foot in front of the other, constantly, continuously, untiringly. I will be indefatigable in my encouragement, second chances, third chances, lifelines, and my grip will remain firm and strong. I. Will. Pull.

Give Me My Energy

Relentless. The word itself can tire me. There are any number of obstacles out there, ready to distract me, detain me, and beat me down. I will use that negative energy, and I will shine. Rejection of my ideas, plans, and work toward making school a place students rekindle their lost love of learning will not dim my light. My light will be the unabating blaze that pierces the darkness in every corner, and it will not be silent. I will not be silent. I will stand. I will shine.

Illuminate Me

Relentless. 2019 awaits. Ready or not, it’s coming. Wherever I see need this year, I will be tenacious in trying to meet that need. I will not waver in my pursuit of knowledge to hone my craft. I will be unwavering in my efforts to provide students with authentic audiences, real world application, pursuit of passions, knowledge of standards, knowledge of life, understanding of the role failure plays in learning, and when failure comes or life happens, I will also be that shoulder to cry on. Relentless. Let’s do this. Ready or not, 2019, here I come.

Partial lyrics from Lights by Styx.

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