OLW – Responsiveness

Inspired by @FranMcVeign’s post today, I am reflecting on MY 2015 one little word- responsiveness.

I have written about it here in January, 2015 and here in February, 2015 and here on last day of May, 2015.

Now I am 15 days away from picking my 2016 OLW.
But first – How did I do with my 2015 word?

I am drawn to the definition and synonyms to help me reflect on how I did this year.

“…to adjust quickly to suddenly altered external conditions…”
 I still struggle with the “quickly” part. I naturally reflect but often seem to have my best thoughts after the fact. But if “quickly” were removed from this definition, I do think I have responded better when the situation calls for adjusting this year. My response now is to think, “There are many ways to do something” and respond in a more tolerant way.
“to resume stable operation without undue delay.”
Again “without delay” may be a stretch at times. But as I reflect back, my response to situations is putting me in a more stable place. As I compare teaching 5th grade from Jan-June and 3rd grade from Sept -Dec, I would say I am better suited to spending my school day with 8 year olds. Their joy, their wonder, their response to me, helps me to better ensure a “stable operation”.
Responsiveness Synonyms:
opennessFrom Sept-Dec, I have held a Morning Meeting every day at school. I have included student shares and stayed committed to taking the time to start our day in an open and welcoming manner. It has made all the difference. And yes, I will admit that the minutes spent learning math has been less on some days due to more minutes spent during Morning Meeting but in the big picture, all my days of learning are stronger because of the time spent being open to greeting the students daily, laughing with them as we play a game and listening as they share their interests.
acceptance – During all of 2015 (and 2014), my husband and I have been building a new house designed by my architect husband. It has been the biggest thing my husband and I have ever done. By January 1, 2016 we expect to move in. As I look back on all the ups and downs of this endeavor, I can honestly say that I have shown acceptance of all we could and could not control. It helped me to kept busy responding to and placing my energy in the things I could control, like teaching 3rd grade and letting go of the things I couldn’t control, like the pace of the construction crew. My friends hear me say often, “It’s all good” when they see a smile on the outside of my face when inside I want to really just cry. But instead, I accept it and know it is worth the wait. 
tolerant – As I enter my 24th year as a teacher, I feel less tolerant at times of my colleagues. I want them just to know all that I know and be on the same page as me. Instead, I feel myself become impatient when instead, I have to convince them of what I know and believe are best practices. But then I try to remember and respond in a tolerant manner. Some days are better than others.

As 2015 comes to an end, having responsiveness as my one little word has helped.
Now I have 15 days to think about what my 2016 word will be??!!

3 thoughts on “OLW – Responsiveness

  1. inspiringteacherstowrite.com says:

    Wow. Quite a reflection. I think of the word “tolerant” more in the sense of culturally responsive. Otherwise it does have a pejorative connotation. Like, putting up with inferiors. As a veteran teacher I sometimes don't care for class management styles of some of the “younger” or less experienced teachers. However, it is really none of my business. That gives me peace. And different kids respond well to teaching styles different than mine.
    If a teacher asks my opinion or for my expertise with something, then that's different. I will give freely and go the extra mile.
    Now, you challenge me to go look at my OLW.


  2. Linda B says:

    Happy moving in. How fabulous that you have built a house your husband designed. That really is special. My favorite part: “There are many ways to do something” It took me a while to learn, but I embraced it a long time ago, and it relieves me of much stress at times, when I think “one path” and someone else, like a student or a colleague, thinks another. Nice reflection!


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