OLW Reflections


#sol17- December 26, 2017

As the last days if 2017 are upon us I seem to be the only one left who has not yet blogged a reflection on my OLW for the year. 2017 seems to be the fourth year that I have chosen a word to guide/inspire me for the year. My first year it was “love”, then “change”, followed by “joy”, and this year I chose “brave”. As is usually the case there are other bloggers who have the same word chosen as I do and this year having Fran McVeigh with the same word meant that when she reflected on her progress with the word I did too, yet I never wrote it down.

Looking back, brave was a good choice for me! This year I:

  • presented for my school and at nErDcampMI (I am not a natural presenter and it stresses me!)
  • attended some PD that was outside of my usual comfort range (including Adaptive Schools- which I heartily recommend and going to TC without a friend)
  • traveled on my own more (including Laos, Vietnam, and more-while sometimes lonely I made it work and I know I just need to continue to go for it)
  • spoke up more
  • contacted a long lost friend (who I had not seen in more than 30 years)
  • updated my resume and applied for (and signed for) a new job in a new country for next school year
  • kept sharing things at school (even though I sometimes felt like I was being a pest)
  • and probably more that I am forgetting

While it is hard to say that choosing the word made me any braver it did make me more determined when I was about to not do some things, so that was (usually) a good thing. A recent post by Liv had me thinking about the words that defined me in 2017 and I would like to think that brave is one of them.

I love choosing a new word for the year and will use the resources here as I decide on what word will guide me next and as I encourage my third graders to choose their OLW for 2018.


*** Former student, Zhi Hong, slicing still.

10 thoughts on “OLW Reflections

  1. jcareyreads

    I think choosing OLW makes us more aware. Brave certainly does seem to describe all of them he experiences you outlined. I’m at a loss for a new word but I’m excited to start hearing about other people’s choices.

  2. Fran Haley

    I haven’t reflected on my OLW (rise) – so perhaps I am the last remaining! The power of one word is amazing, however – just holding it in your mind throughout the days shapes them, lends them more focus. You clearly embodied brave.

  3. Melanie Meehan

    You don’t have to blog your reflection to reflect on your word, and it sounds like it’s been a great one for you. My word was also brave for 2017. I’ll be interested to see what you choose for 2018! I’ve got mine ready to go, as long as I don’t have a last minute change of mind.

  4. sallydonnelly11

    Viewing your past year through the lens of brave certainly resulted in so many examples. In my opinion, bravely updating your resume and accepting a job in a new country tops your list! Thank you so much for including the link to the resources you shared with your students. It is helping ME to pick my next word and nudging me to do this with all my students or at least with my homeroom class. I feel pressed for time. However, I now it is time well spent. Your slice shows so well the importance of OLW. Happy New Year!

  5. Stacey Shubitz

    I loved doing OLWs with my students. I found it to be a great way to help them refocus after the vacation and set their sights on the new year.

    You certainly were brave this year, Erika! Looking forward to hearing about your OLW for 2018!


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