presenter_badge_2017This is a challenge for me. Anyone who knows me knows that brevity is not my strong point. In fact, sometimes it takes me much “talking out loud” to revise, change, or come to a final decision.

The #compelledtribe has challenged all of it’s members to find one word for 2017 that we can focus on. I need to identify the one word that will drive my actions, behaviors, decisions, and initiatives. For the last week or so, I was pretty determined that my one word would be “committment”.  I figured it fit everything that I needed in 2017.  It worked for committing to fitness, health, time with my children, time for me, my goals at work, and my other personal goals such as committing to blogging and being present on Twitter.

I feel like I was very present on Twitter from January 2016 through about May or June. Then I hit some obstacles and I was not participating in as many chats or reading blogs. But what I found was that (in early 2016) the more connected I was with my PLN, the more effective I was at work.  I was also more inspired, passionate, and positive.  Although I wear many hats at school, I truly feel that my role as “head cheerleader” is absolutely necessary.  It is imperative that teachers, aides, administrators, secretaries, custodians, and drivers know that I appreciate their efforts and that they matter to me immensely. Their efforts do not go unnoticed and I am always grateful for the people I work with.

#Committment was okay. But it didn’t speak to me.

My children have been watching this video on YouTube over and over again….

..and it’s no wonder.  With over 67 million views, it is truly inspirational. This duo appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2014.  As my children walked around the house singing this song over and over again….it struck me…

#OneWord2017 for me is #hopeful

Hopeful for so many reasons.  I’m thrilled that my #oneword was inspired by music and by teenagers. For me there is nothing more sacred than students who inspire and who have the strength and courage to do what they love.  Their story embodies what I truly believe education should be. We need to guide students and embrace them. We need to support teachers and encourage them. We need to be hopeful.

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” ~Brad Henry

So as we begin 2017, let’s ignite imagination, instill a love of learning, be hopeful to achieve all we set out to accomplish, and commit to each day’s challenges with dedication and kindness. We do this because teachers and students deserve our very best!

Happy New Year!





Author: karenwoodedu

Karen Wood is the Superintendent of Schools in Barnegat, NJ. With twenty-three years in education, Ms. Wood's career has been spent primarily in administration. She enjoys mentoring novice administrators and being connected to inspirational educators and leaders across the country.

3 thoughts on “#OneWord2017”

  1. Karen, I love the word that you’ve chosen to guide you through 2017. You are such an inspiring leader, and without hope you won’t be as effective. I know that your staff in your district are lucky to have such a thoughtful, smart, and optimistic leader. Thank you for inspiring me in 2016. I can’t wait to continue to learn from you in 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer. I’m flattered and humbled by your comments. When I think of all those around me, who are so AMAZING, I realize I am blessed to have such positive influences and support. I also realize that I have a long way to go in my own professional growth. Thanks for being such a wonderful support system.


  2. Karen,

    I love this post, and was VERY close to choosing Hope (or hopefulness) as my One Word. It is a summation of everything that we as educators need to give to students and model ourselves. I hope 2017 is a great year for you and I truly enjoy your comments in our Voxer group as well:) Blog on!

    Liked by 1 person

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