I realize I’m late to the “it’s 2018 now!” blog post parade.

Several voices I respect have suggested taking January to get back into a routine and let the dust of the holidays settle. They have found that February is a more sensible time to make changes and set intentions in a deliberate, level-headed manner.

So I did that, and now here I am in February, writing about the New Year.


Plan for the Year

Looking ahead to the year, I’ve got a significant amount of volunteering coming up for a project I’m involved in that’s not related to ESOL.

My family also has some significant travel on the calendar, particularly this semester. Actually, it’s significant enough that I’m not available to take on a regular schedule this coming semester.

So, it’s up-in-the-air how ESOL will fit in with everything else this year.


Word of the Year

I’m pretty into the trend of replacing New Year’s resolutions with a theme summed up in one word for the year. I’ll be sad when it becomes old news like no-knead bread and bullet journaling, because I think it’s really valuable.

My word connects nicely to how I want to approach the coming year with its known challenges and opportunities, plus the inevitable surprises I can’t even imagine.

My word of the year is “grow.”

It may sound obvious, or even trite. But the more I consider it, the more it’s a jam-packed word and I love it.

The grammar geek in me loves that it can be both transitive and intransitive.

The gardener in me is aware that not everything that grows is desirable. She also notes that dandelions, our most famous weed, are nutritious edibles.

I won’t keep going on about it, but I will encourage you to pick out a word for the year (you can pick one out that’s way more badass than mine) and see if you like it too.

How ESOL Will Fit In

In short, I don’t know.

Also, making grand public promises is not my style. I’m one of those people who wonders if she’s acting too rashly when RSVPing “yes” two weeks in advance to a friend’s 5th birthday party because she can’t guarantee her kids won’t be sick then.

This year is particularly difficult to commit to, though, because whatever professional growth I accomplish will be both unsupported and unhampered by the normal flow of the academic year.

Nearly limitless possibilities!

Nearly zero accountability, structure, or community! Yikes.


I’m making no public promises and setting no public goals!

However, I’m comfortable declaring several wants:

  1. I want to grow as a teacher: expertise, connections, knowledge, empathy, skills, and experience.
  2. I want to deliberately keep my eyes open for opportunities to grow as a teacher in all of those ways, and
  3. I want to be bold enough to say “yes” to many of those opportunities even if it’s two weeks in advance and I can’t guarantee my kids won’t be sick then.

I’ve also created my own simple, gentle structure: I’ve set up a monthly calendar reminder that will email me the above list of wants every month in 2018.

We’ll see what 2018 brings!


Photo Credit: DaPuglet on Flickr

You’re reading 2018, originally posted at LearningToTeachEnglish.com.




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