Sunday, January 1, 2017


Principal ponderings...
I have been reading lots of blog posts about what people are selecting for their one word for 2017.  I had to look back on my posts from the last few years.  Back in 2014, I selected my word or actually I opened a package from my mother and my word was staring back at me on a necklace: hope.  And then in 2015, while I did not select or write about a word, I would say that it could have been joy.  That was the year that I experienced so much joy becoming a mother and bringing joy to my job of principal.  Last year, I did not select a word, but as I reflect on 2016 I would have to say my word could have been connect because I made so many new professional connections that helped me grow as a leader.

For 2017, I decided I wanted to join in the one word movement again.  I have been spending the last week building a list of potential words in my head.  I was ready with a word and planning to write a completely different post when this happened on New Year's Day morning:
Once again, my word was delivered to me.  There were many other things I could be doing or maybe should have been doing, but in that moment I realized that I was forgetting about everything else and creating finger painting masterpieces with my daughter and husband.  It was exactly what I needed to be doing.  I was watching her create designs on the paper and all over her body!  One picture we created was all of our handprints overlapping each other.  Emerson took finger painting literally and at one point, she was actually painting my fingers.  We laughed, we painted, we got messy.  We created the best memory of the start of 2017.  And that is when I realized that my #OneWord2017 is create.

The word create is defined as "bringing something into existence" or "cause something to happen as a result of one's action."  I am excited about all of the potential wrapped up in this little word.  I feel like the word create will motivate me to build, design, imagine, generate, produce and make all sorts of wonderfulness throughout the year.  I do hope to get back in touch with my creative and artistic side this year.  I have been writing, but I want to create more writing in 2017.  My daughter found an old sketchbook of mine and reminded me that I used to do a lot more drawing and sketching.  I want to create more art with her in 2017.  I predict a lot more coloring in the future, both inside and outside of the lines.  (I should have realized my one word when I went to the hairdresser a few days ago and created a new look for me by adding a splash of color to my hair!)

I can't wait to see how my one word motivates me to create new experiences this year.  While I know I will continue to create new memories with my family, I also know that 2017 will bring new experiences as a principal.  That is truly my favorite part of the job, every day is different and I am certainly never bored!  What new opportunities will I be able to create at our school?  What new learning will I help create for staff?  How will we create amazing experiences for kids and how will we encourage them to simply create?  How will I create new connections with parents, families and community members?

I am ready to "cause something to happen."  In fact, I have a feeling lots of wonderful somethings will happen this year.  Today is a perfect day to start.  Ready, set, create!
First finger painting creation I have done in a long time!
What will your one word be for 2017?  I encourage all of you to think about the perfect word for you this year.  Write about it, talk to someone about your word, create something about your word (sorry, had to sneak my word in one more time!), let your one word guide you this year.  Here is a great post to help you through the process of finding your word.  Or watch this video clip where Jon Gordon talks about the concept of one word.

Now go find your one word for 2017!

Currently reading:
So...the start of the new year means I have to admit that I failed miserably in terms of my reading challenge goal for myself last year.  But I am choosing to take the growth mindset approach and look at this failure as a chance to learn and grow.  The reality of my life is that I have a full time+ job of being a principal and I have a 2-year-old.  My reading habits have changed as a result of my life changes.  I need to set a more realistic goal this year.  My goal I just posted on Goodreads is to read 75 books.  That is half of what I set for a goal last year.  I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can...

I was super excited to discover this post through Twitter.  It's a list of picture books that are being published this year.  I can't wait to order some new books this year!  This list will definitely help me reach my goal.

Did you read any good books over break?  If so, come and tell me about them.  You know I am always looking for book recommendations.

Events this week:
Monday - No school, enjoy the last day of break!
Tuesday - Welcome Back!
Wednesday - 4th grade chorus @ 2:25, Staff meeting 3:30-5:00
Friday - Liz and Dianna at SLT in the am

Great things I noticed last week:
There were lots of amazing things happening in classrooms throughout the week leading up to break.  I am glad that staff enjoyed the '12 days of giving before break.'  I had lots of fun coming up with ideas and working to put smiles on faces.  I am looking forward to popping into classrooms in the new year and sharing what I see through my blog.  I would also encourage you to find a way to visit your colleagues classrooms.  You all have so much to share with each other and we can all learn from each other.  Future post coming soon about the concept of #ObserveMe!

  • Here is a whole board full of acts of kindness that I found in Mrs. Guernsey's room! 

Check it out:
Interesting read about school climate and having a happy school:
Holy jackpot of best books lists!  Check out this padlet:
Can't remember if I have shared this before, but it's a good one to re-share!


  1. CREATE was on my list of potential words for 2017. I love how your word found you! I'm looking forward to seeing what you CREATE this year. Happy New Year!

  2. What a great word for 2017. I have to decide on mine! You and Michelle are both inspiring me!