Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: #OLW 2019 #SOL19 #TWTBlog
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Slice of Life: #OLW 2019 #SOL19 #TWTBlog

Create was the best word for 2018.  I created a book in March.  I created a new relationship with my son as he left for college.  I helped teachers create bookrooms and classroom libraries.  I created a neighborhood garden.  I created a new website, a webinar, and a YouTube channel.  It was a year of many unknowns and many beginnings.  Create helped me look for opportunities and possibilities.

There were signs throughout the year that confirmed this was the word for me.  Fran McVeigh pointed out the word creating was in the title of my book.  I found a necklace with the word create at a little art store in town.  I realized I needed to create new traditions and habits with my son.  I fell upon the book What If… by Samantha Berger and Mike Curato.  This book spoke directly to me from the dedication:

To the inspiration:

To the message:

I love everything about this book.  The illustrations are beautiful and the text is rhythmic and poignant.  I have returned to this simple text again and again throughout the year.  It has a place on my desk so it is within reach whenever I need to be reenergized.  It has become a muse of sorts for me.

I have also loved sharing this book with teachers and students.  It is a book students ask to reread and one they want to explore with partner.  They have an immediate need to touch, turn the pages and explore the details in the text.  One student told me, “It feels like a dream.”  Another shared, “It reminds me to never give up.” I feel the same way.

2018 has come to a close and I look to this book to guide me in 2019.  When I reflect on my #OLW blog post from last year, it is clear to me that I was looking for a word to guide me through the changes that lie ahead.  What If… reminded me that asking what’s possible is the best way to create.  When we wonder we open up opportunities that we never imagined.  Berger, in his book A More Beautiful Question, defines a beautiful question as, “an ambitious yet actionable question that can begin to shift the way we perceive or think about something, and might serve as a catalyst to bring about change.” (2014)  This got me thinking more about questions, inquiry, and asking what if.

I really wanted my one little word to be what if, but it is two little words. I started to rethink my choices and then I reread Debbie Miller’s new book, What’s the Best That Could Happen?  My OLW was right there waiting for me:

Happy 2019 Everyone! Clare

Follow this link to find out more about OLW.

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers, and teachers here.
9 Comments
  • Avatar
    Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 11:13h, 08 January Reply

    I appreciate you using a book you love as inspiration for your one little word -and that you revisited the same book this year to guide your choice again! I think I must find and read this book!
    Happy 2019!

  • Avatar
    FranMcVeigh
    Posted at 11:17h, 08 January Reply

    Love your journey for your #OLW. And I so appreciate that just as you were thinking a phrase, your one word appeared. So many paths confirm the “fit” of our #OLW. Happy 2019! Wonder!

  • Avatar
    Erika Victor
    Posted at 11:57h, 08 January Reply

    I love reading your reflective process! How did I miss your YouTube channel??? My third graders started choosing their own OLW today- always a fun time!

  • Avatar
    Julieanne Hamatz
    Posted at 14:17h, 08 January Reply

    I love your reflection on last year’s word. All you accomplished in 2018 and the book is perfect! I believe you will love the word wonder. It feels like a natural next step.

  • Avatar
    Terje
    Posted at 18:36h, 08 January Reply

    What a wonderful word!

  • Avatar
    Stacey
    Posted at 22:34h, 08 January Reply

    Thanks for sharing your journey to come to find your WONDERful word to guide you in 2019.

  • Avatar
    Sarah Valter
    Posted at 00:58h, 09 January Reply

    I love your word and especially love your inspiration to let it find you through literature!

  • Avatar
    Mandy Robek
    Posted at 04:09h, 09 January Reply

    I enjoyed reading how successful create was for you. I want to know more about a neighborhood garden. I wonder if you create anything on a small scale? or crafty? I can’t wait to see what wonder brings for you – maybe it will be stopping and noticing things.

  • Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: When Your OLW Sneaks Up On You! #SOL19 #TWTBlog
    Posted at 10:31h, 06 March Reply

    […] OLW this year is wonder.  I have been getting to know this word over the past two months.  So far it has pushed […]

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