Tuesday, January 5, 2016

one little word 2016: strong

Tuesdays at Two Writing Teachers!

4 little words.

4 years of reflection, observation, and determination.
4 years of having a simple, powerful, and positive way to keep encouraging myself to improve my life throughout the year.

In class today, my students and I read about the history of New Year's Resolutions, and we learned that January is named for Janus, the Roman god with two faces who could look backward and forward at the same time. That's exactly how I felt as I chose my word this year: I found my word by looking to the past year and the upcoming one together. 

Becoming a mom has helped me take control of my life in a way that I was never able to do before. I wondered how I'd ever do it all, when my life had always been so consumed with work. How could I ever be a good mom AND a good teacher at the same time?! But through lots of hard work, I have found that balance I could never make myself achieve... by learning to take care of myself. I've learned that the only way to be my very best self is to refuse to ignore my self-care. And magically, I'm solving that great puzzle of who I am.

I'm proud to announce my fifth "one little word", my word for 2016: STRONG
created on my iPad with Drawing Desk and Font Candy!
I decided to use a color scheme that would remind me of seeing the sky.
This year, my students are joining me on the "one little word" journey, and I wrote the rest of this post in front of them over the course of my classes today.

I resolve to be mentally strong
I will write on my blog every Tuesday. I will read at least 5 days a week. I will practice my Spanish by reading, writing, and speaking in Spanish as much as I can! I will speak in Spanish to my baby often. I will use relaxing strategies to stop worrying. For example, if I start to worry, I will go for a walk, look out the window, listen to music, or cuddle with my baby! I will focus on positive thoughts by noticing all the beauty and blessings around me and being thankful. I will continue to reflect on my life and my teaching to find the best ways to improve myself.

I resolve to be physically strong
I will do hard exercise (running, elliptical machine, or lifting weights) at least 2 days a week. I will also take my baby for a walk at least 1 other day a week. I will drink plenty of water. I will only drink pop 1 time a week. I will make healthier food choices with more fruits and vegetables.

I resolve to be emotionally strong
I will continue to love deeply by showing my family, my friends, and my students that they matter and I care about them. I will work to create special memories with my baby, my husband, and my parents. I will challenge myself to try new things, push myself out of my comfort zone, and be brave to work for what I believe in. I will forgive others and strive to understand their points of view. I will try not to take setbacks or criticism too personally, while still holding on to the insights my sensitive nature gives me. I will encourage myself and give myself the grace I give others, instead of being too hard on myself when I'm not perfect. I will give myself a break sometimes, and be ok with that.

I will be STRONG.


  1. Strong. This word has always described you in so many ways. I am so proud of you and always have been. Not because of your many good qualities and achievements, but because of who you are. My daughter. I love you.

  2. Oh Jennifer, you are so inspiring. I love all that you wrote, but also loved that you wrote it with your students, a very special thing to do. I'm glad that you feel so comfortable managing all the challenges that a new baby brings. No matter how loved, it still is MORE, more things to do, more time spent, etc. Happy New Year being strong! And loving that sweet baby!

  3. It sounds like you have got great aspirations for the year! I love your logo! I want to learn to do stuff like that this year!

  4. A perfect word in every sense. I love how one little words permeate all aspects of our lives incorporating all that is valuable and important. You are a fabulous Mama, wife, daughter, teacher and friend! Stay strong! Happy New Year to you, Jennifer!

  5. Perfect word to keep close to you! Your passion for life is inspiring. I'm so happy that you will be writing every week, I've missed your voice.

  6. Great word. You have so many areas and opportunities in which to be strong. I hope for you that you also have time just for you. Strength in making time for rejuvenation. Happy new year.

  7. Just read your post from your SOL link! I love how you let your word permeate your life. And that you wrote it with your students. Enjoy the years of early parenthood and blessings on your year's journey with strong.


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