Thursday, January 1, 2015

One Word

During our winter break, I had a lot of time to reflect on 2014 and to plan for 2015. I even wrote a lengthy post about professional resolutions I had created for the new year.  They included more professional reading, increased technology for the school, and connecting better with students, staff, parents and the community.  All worthy goals for the new year. But then I started seeing something from educators on Twitter about "one word".  Actually, I kept seeing #oneword365.  The concept revolves around the idea of giving up resolutions and instead focusing on one word, one ideal that you will work toward each day of the new year. There's even a web site called  At first, I didn't think much of it other than that it was a novel approach to goal setting for the new year.  But then I started thinking, what would my one word be? What was one trait, one ideal that I could embrace and make my main focus for every single day of the year? What was something that could encompass all my resolutions, my philosophy, and my desire to become a better principal? I soon realized that every scenario that I came up with included the word "Inspire". And so, my word was finally found and my list of resolutions (and my blog post) went out the window.

As an educator, my main goal is not only to prepare students academically, but to inspire them to become curious, creative, life-long learners. As a principal, my goal is not only to support teachers and staff, but to inspire them to be risk-taking, passionate, instructors. And as a leader, to paraphrase Tom Peters, my goal is not to create followers, but to inspire new leaders. Educated students can do well on standardized tests, but inspired students can change the world.  Dedicated staff do what is necessary to get the job done, but inspired staff continually look for new ways of doing things and seek self-improvement. Inspired leaders create more inspired leaders.

A year ago, I chose "Lighting the Fire" as the title of this blog from the quote by W.B. Yeats.  I guess if I summed up what that statement means to me in one word it would be "Inspire". Inspiration is a fire that can light up the world and spread from person to person. I'm okay with giving up my resolutions this year and focusing each day of 2015 on my one word. I will work to inspire students, staff, and parents. All the other resolutions and goals will come in time if I can first inspire others.  What is your "one word" for the new year?

Photo Credit:

Inspiring: Cody McCasland.  He's quite the swimmer too!
Learn more about Cody at Inspire My Kids


"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." - Thomas Edison

"Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity." - Bo Bennett

"Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it." Bob Dylan


Tuesday, January 6: 7 Habits training for principals 12:00 pm

Wednesday, January 7: IEP (Berrelez) 8:15 am

Thursday, January 8: 7 Habits training for principals 12:00 pm
                                   Principal Budget Meeting 4:00 pm
                                   Title 1 Parent Night 5:45 pm
                                   PTA Meeting 6:30 pm

Friday, January 9: Staff Meeting 8:00 am
                              Vision Testing in Room 18
                              Student of the Month Assembly 3:00 pm (Be Proactive)

1 comment:

  1. Great post Jon! Love this word too. It can mean so much in so many ways. Looks like you have a great environment you get to work in each day. Embrace today and be ready for tomorrow! Welcome to the #compelledtribe!