Wednesday, December 28, 2016

One Word for 2017

It's good to be back.  I've admittedly been slacking in my posts, and I wish that I had some glorious tale to tell about why I've been delayed.  The truth caught up with me.  In many ways 2016 has been a tremendous year.  I've been able to be a father to the two most amazing young men anyone could ever meet (biased...nah), I've been able to be a husband to the most amazing woman anyone could ever meet, and I've been able to be a teacher to the most amazing kids anyone could ever meet.  I achieved a pinnacle in my professional career, began this blog, and have had the chance to network with some amazing people who have transformed my teaching.  In short, 2016 has been a blessed year.

But, looking back, I can see that it has also been a sloppy year.  I've allowed myself to become pulled in so many different directions that I have let some things that I wouldn't normally allow to fall, slip through the cracks.  I wouldn't say that I have done any one thing poorly; I would simply say that I've done many things in a mediocre fashion.  And that is unacceptable.

As I stare 2017 in the face, I'm faced with certain realities.  Choices really.  Do I continue down this path of mediocrity, or do I do something about it?  That's not really a question now, is it?  So, in the spirit of the new year, I've decided to approach it with goals in mind, resolutions if you will. that really worth the time?  You see, everyone sets new year's resolutions...and most drop them before the end of January.  I've been guilty of that many times.  Recently I stumbled across the #oneword campaign, drawn from the book One Word That Will Change Your Life, and the idea is simple.  Instead of setting resolutions which are doomed to fail, select one word that will define who one is, and what we desire to become.  Needless to say, I love this idea.  And I thought long and hard about how I could sum up what I want to do, and who I want to be, until it came to me.

My #oneword2017 is "FOCUS".

In 2017 I want to focus.  I want to focus on being a better father, husband, and teacher.  I want to focus on setting priorities.  I want to focus on removing needless drama from my life.  I want to focus on being the best version of myself possible (which is advice I give to my kiddos all the time).  I want to focus on living the advice I give to my students.  I want to focus on being determined.  I want to focus on being positive.

With this clarity and goal in mind, I can look back again on 2016 and realize that much of the stress I've brought on myself is my own anchor dragging me down, and when I look back on it positively, I can see how blessed I am to have these stresses.  And I can focus on meeting challenges head-on, determined to meet them with a positive attitude and deliver on them in the best way which I am capable.  My stress is not one of being over-loaded; it is simply one of being unfocused.  With that in mind, I've decided to focus on these three things.

1. My family- to focus on being the best father, husband, and friend I can be.  To love fiercely. To love with passion.

2. My students- to focus on being the best teacher, but also the best mentor to my kiddos I can be.  To do what is best for them, not for me.  To teach with passion.

3. My partners in the educational community- to become more active in learning and contributing to the educational community that I love.  To help ensure passionate teaching.  To share with passion.

I am truly excited to see this #oneword unfold in my life.  It is an endeavor which I truly believe can impact me in a positive way.  It is something I believe so much that I plan to open the idea to my students.  I don't believe it matters one's age, we can all benefit from a realistic aim and goal.  With that in mind I look forward to implementing a #oneword board in our classroom, and hope that my kiddos will join me in this pursuit.

Will you join me?  What will your #oneword be?


  1. Kevin,
    This post and your #oneword are full of the passion the you want in your life. Thank you for sharing such an honest and inspiring goal.

  2. Focus . . . a great one word. And I especially like how you put your family first. Kevin, teaching is a profession that is all-consuming. But you know that. By putting your family first,you'll be able to find the balance to focus on all the rest. My children are 17 and 20. Cherish the special times while they're little. You are a focused husband, father, teacher, and fellow educator to all of us. Blessings to you in 2017.

  3. Great word Kevin - in our hectic lives, with so much vying for our attention it's definitely hard to remain focused. Your reflection has motivated me to search for my one word...not as easy as it sounds. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Nicely written, Kevin! I look forward to reading how your focused year goes, and would love to hear what words your students choose as they take up the challenge as well!

  5. Way to go Kevin! Such a great word to drive you through 2017.

  6. Great post, Son. Proud of you! My one word is motivator! Stay Focused!