What will 2021 be like?
After 9 months of virus, fear, chaos, and politics, I am wondering what our experiences in the new year hold. The image above captured former student’s 1-Word Resolutions for 2020. As I look at their choices now, I remember the limitless conversations focused on sports, gaming, and happiness that echoed around the classroom. Words like, bold, happy, reliable, encouraging, able, and exponential were justified with thoughtful explanations. At times this year, well into the COVID-19 madness, my former students take time to email me, and let me know how they are doing in middle school and high school. Their writings are hopeful and focus on the future. I save each one and savor them, especially during trying times.
Choosing one word to represent yourself for a year is challenging, but I plan to do it again with my students this year. Last year, I worked at the same time as my students to refine my personal choice: illuminate. In the midst of distance learning, implementing myriad new technology apps and platforms, and maintaining relationships with students and coworkers, family and friends: my word guided me. Such a simple thing became a mantra I could visit and find a little balance in the midst of the chaos.
My mind is already sorting through words to make meaning of the upcoming year. I hope my students are ready for some deep conversations about how language helps us over, around, under, and through unexpected hurdles tossed in our path.