One Word for Your Year

The start of the school year is a busy time and this year I wanted our opening day staff meeting to be as short as possible; however, I wanted to do an activity with staff that would provide us (the vice principal and myself) some insight into what our staff were wanting to accomplish during the year.  When I was reading Ditch That Textbook (which I previously wrote about in this post), one activity that stood out to me as a potential opening day activity was an activity I will call “The One Word” activity.  There was a chapter in the book  (Ch 35: Create a Mission Statement) on this activity and it is also based on the post Change the Way You Teach With One Word, both written my Matt Miller (@jmattmiller).  Instead of writing a teaching mission statement, the activity has staff think about one word that can be the focus of all the planning and directions they take during the school year.

After having the staff read the chapter (3 pages long), we provided them with a graphic organizer to complete and time to reflect.  The 4 outside boxes were the staff’s working space and the box in the middle of the page is where we asked them to write their one-word.  While I was interested in the one-words that our staff would provide, I was equally interested in their responses to these questions that were one the organizer:

  • What do I want from this year?
  • What do I need?
  • What is in my way?
  • What needs to go?

The responses will help us work to support (which is my one-word) each staff member in an individual way.  The one-words were wide ranging and you can see them in the graphic below.


I look forward to our conversations that we will have with staff members based on this activity and trying to sort out the ways to best provide support.

What would your one-word be?

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