This will be a year for new content. New learning. New relationships.
It was in the final weeks of December that I started to see the #OneWord and #OneWord2019 hashtags pop up on Twitter.
I was unimpressed at first, but as some of my favorite edustars (like Rose Pillay) started to reflect on their #OneWord2019, I decided to take a closer look.
It looks like the One Word idea has been around for a while. Although you’ll find One Word resources all over the web, the philosophy behind the movement seems best developed in a book called One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon and Dan Britton.
Without reading the book, my take on #OneWord is simple. Choose a word that best frames your hopes, goals, and expectations for the year ahead. Choose a word that anchors you, clarifies your mission, and reminds you of your purpose. Choose a word that you can use to connect your growth and learning as the year unfolds.
It took me most of the last week of December, but I finally found my own #OneWord2019.
I want to see creation unfold in three dimensions this year.
1. Create new content.
In the last two years I’ve become a committed content creator, a journey that would take a different post to fully describe and unpack. But in general, create > consume has become a mantra that I preach and model consistently.
Of course my biggest step along these lines in 2018 was to begin the Teachers on Fire podcast. The show was and continues to be the realization of a personal dream, and I can’t begin to explain all the ways I’ve grown and learned as a direct result of my work there. When educators around the globe share their appreciation for the podcast, it’s a tremendous encouragement. It gives my work meaning and reinforces my commitment to it.
I also started writing more in 2018, but that’s an area where I’d really like to turn up the heat in 2019. In 2018, I wrote about 30 posts in total. Today, my goal is to publish two blog posts per week: one personal and one professional.
There are many reasons behind this push for greater consistency, another important concept deserving of its own post. But for now, this is what I’m committing to. Two posts per week.
I have one more piece of content in mind here that I hesitate to put on the record, but maybe the power of public accountability will be the boost I need to make it happen consistently. YouTube. I’d like to start creating content there on a weekly basis as well. Stay tuned!
One more thing. It’s also a goal of mine to complete my Master’s thesis this year. That’s another form of content — not the kind that will be visible to most, but a pretty important byproduct of two years of academic study.
2. Create new learning.
I want to give my students new learning experiences this year. In particular, I want them to create, design, revise, and create products they have never created before.
I want to create the sorts of learning experiences that will challenge them, require critical thinking, and demand new sets of skills. That’s the kind of teaching that I get excited about.
In my own life, one way to for me to experience new learning is to read more books than ever before. According to my Goodreads account, I finished 10 books in 2018. In 2019, my goal is 15.
I know I can hit 15 books simply by reading my Kindle before bed every night. I generally try to read 5% of a book (or books) in my account before lights out. Doing that will push me through the equivalent of a full book every 20 days this year. So that’s the plan.
As I mentioned, my MEdL thesis studies will require more academic and field research in the areas of podcasting and professional development. That’s not only new content — it’s new learning, as well. That’s learning to look forward to.
In general, I want to improve my attitude toward learning this year. That means adopting a stronger growth mindset, taking more risks, learning new skills, and stretching myself into uncomfortable spaces in order to experience personal and professional growth.
3. Create new relationships.
One of the unexpected side benefits of starting the Teachers on Fire podcast last year was the formation of so many new friendships with other educators. It’s an amazing feeling to receive support and encouragement from principals in California, teachers in the UK, and authors in Wisconsin. It’s a PLN at its best.
In the fall of 2018 I also took a teaching position at a new school, and in many ways this community is still new to me. I’ve already built meaningful friendships here, but there’s plenty of room for deeper connection. New relationships are waiting to be formed, deeper roots to be planted.
On a personal and completely different note, my wife and I would also love to have a baby this year! We’ve been trying for some time now, and I back and forth between going all in on hope and expectant prayer versus the pragmatism of emotional management. But there you have it — I’d also love to (pro)create a little Cavey this year. That one is in God’s hands.
My #OneWord2019: Create
I can’t wait to create: new content, new learning, and new relationships. 2019 is going to be an amazing year, and I look forward to learning from you along the way.
Why don’t you join me. And CREATE.
by Tim Cavey, MS Teacher in Surrey, BC, Canada and host of the Teachers on Fire podcast.