OLW 2020

I asked my sister if she was going to choose a word for this year. She replied by asking me how choosing OLW has helped me. I hadn’t yet picked a word, so I have been reflecting on just how/when OLW helps.

The process of selecting the word has often been the most powerful part of the process. Unable to see the future, I try to envision how the influence of a word might change the trajectory of my life. How would I be different if blank were my word? What would change?

She also asked how I check-in with myself to remember the word through the year. I confess that it is often from reflections posted by the TWT community that prompts me to remember and reflect. That’s part of the reason I value each of you and your writing.

2020 will be the year I retire from public school teaching. I continue to be conflicted about this decision, but most of the time, it seems right. I am not looking forward to all the decisions that will necessarily flow from retirement such as, “What should I do with all of my professional books?”

So, here’s what I’m thinking for my OLW for 2020. I think it will be room. My thoughts around room may seem random.

  • I will be leaving a room which has only been mine for a year because I have moved classrooms six times in the last five years. My current room feels just right.
  • I will be making room for a new phase of my life. What will that room look like and feel like?
  • At one time, I loved the book/movie, “A Room with a View,” mostly because I loved imagining rooms overlooking mountains, beaches, gardens, tile roofs, and trees.
  • I try to make room. A small house with 5 children meant that we were always shuffling stuff to make room. Scooting over to get one more on the couch.
  • As a learner, I try to keep space open to make room for new ideas and practices. This year has been a year of learning the Orton Gillingham approach to reading instruction. I hope to use this learning in my retirement, but I’m just not sure how or where yet.

I’ll be checking back after I’ve thought about room. I’d love to know what this word brings to your mind!