I've never really been "into" New Year's Eve celebrations and everything that comes with it. I am however keen on making changes in both my personal and professional life through constant reflection. Last year I came across the One Little Word movement and it had an immediate impact on my thinking. As I worked through the process the word Mindful came to me. It was my One Little Word until this September.
As this point you might be thinking why September? Why not January? Well it really comes down to what I consider my New Year. September is when everything changes for me. School starts, the action begins and the work of making the best possible learning environment for students is well and truly underway. So this past summer I began to think about my One Little Word and how it could fit into my professional life. I would be starting a role as Principal with a newly renovated school and entirely new community and staff to work with. As I worked through the process my One Little Word came to me. Open would be the word. Here's why:
- I needed to be Open to being uncomfortable in my new role as Principal
- I needed to be Open to a much longer commute to work
- I needed to be Open to a steep learning curve in the role
- I needed to be Open to learning about a community I knew virtually nothing about
- I needed to be Open to working with a staff that I knew very little about
- I needed to be Open to having the "buck" stop with me
- I needed to be Open to seeking support from colleagues
- I needed to be Open to doing things that are not my forte
It was such an amazing process to work through that I thought I would be great for the staff of my new school to do the same, not only for themselves, but discovering a word that could represent our school. On our September Professional Development day we went through the One Little Word process together It so gratifying to see everyone so engaged in discovering their own word but also discovering a word for our school. Their heartfelt explanations of their One Little Words were so touching that it was hard for me to keep my emotions in check. I was proud to be part of a team that were so committed not only to themselves but to the community and students that they serve.
My commitment this year is to be Open. Open to everything life has to offer. Open to a new role. Open to a longer commute. Open to a new community, staff and student body. Open to seeking out support. Open to learning. Open to being uncomfortable.
Oh, and you might be wondering what the staff picked as the One Little Word for our school. It was Persist. We are going to Persist in everything we do!