Thinking back on the year and reading a few blog posts made me realize how busy 2022 has been. In a good way for me. I was hopeful for normal. Despite the busy day-to-day, I was intentional with working towards the goals I set for myself. The one key step was that I made it a priority to remind myself of my word of the year: Hope. I believe that my normalcy came to fruition because of that intentionality. It also led me to other reflective practices and reminders of how I supported my hopefulness, which I want to remember for the new year. The tips are centered around my ONES.
Tip #1: ONE Word
I am a lover of a guiding word of the year. My hope led me to my word for this year: Imagine. Imagine possibilities for your year. Imagine your goals and the positive effects. Imagine the celebrations of achievement. Imagine the process. Imagine the potential roadblocks to prepare your mind. Imagine the learning that can happen along the way. Imagine the supportive friends, family and colleagues. Just imagine it all!
Tip #2: ONE Image
Pictures are another love of mine. My phone is overloaded. My family, friends, cats, school and sunsets (sometimes sunrises if I have enough coffee to wake me up). It isn’t just pictures that I appreciate. Any image is of interest to me. Images are my reminder of why I do what I do each day. Below is an extra special one for me: my niece on one of her first days of school. Look at that smile! My reminder of my why is to do whatever I can to keep that smile on others too.
Tip #3: ONE Memory
This tip relates to the image tip. I capture memories with the pictures I take. I love the reminders of not only those who are special to me but also times that are impactful. That leads me to recalling many memories. Since I wrote my book, Student-Centered Mentoring, I have tried making notes or journaling about teaching. “I remember when,” is my new phrase. Here is a peak at a portion of my introduction that captures this tip perfectly.
As I write this, one of my most memorable classes is about to graduate from high school. They were the class I looped with; the class that I formed relationships with like no other because of the extended time we were together. Now, I see them making life decisions and succeeding, in big and small ways. Those fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms may have been years ago, but the memories of them come flooding back whenever I see Facebook posts from those students about their upcoming graduation and college decisions. I remember their group presentations about the weather and the important conversations we had about how to encourage each other to speak in front of the class. I also remember the vulnerable discussions we had about divorce while reading Hatchet, where time just seemed to get away from us. Those memories remind me of my commitment—to keep student learning at the forefront of my thinking and actions. No matter how big or small, the symbols or rituals we implore will impact their memory more than we may ever know. Because if remembering those times gives me hope, passion, and purpose, I can only wonder what my past students recall that could be empowering to them.Brueggeman, A. 2022.
As you reflect and look ahead into 2023, choose ONE word, image, or a memory to guide you in a hopeful year. Of course choose ONE of each if you’d like as well!
- Brueggeman, A. (2022). Student-Centered Mentoring. Thousand Oaks, California.