#SOL17: #OLW


As 2017 begins there are many sources for information about #OLW and this video may add to your own knowledge base.  The authors of Two Writing Teachers are revealing their words daily and many additional words have been revealed this week.

Last year I celebrated “Joyful” and added “Joy” to the background of my blog so I would see it every time I made a post or responded to a comment.  I loved the constant reminder and the way that I seemed to spend more time deliberately reflecting on the joy that I found in reading, in writing, in my work and in my family.  2016 was truly a JOYFUL year.

Sometimes #OLW is elusive and sometimes it finds an author.  My words have been

  • 2014    Transfer
  • 2015     Focus
  • 2016    Joyful

How do I impact the teachers and coaches that I work with?

This was just one question I asked when I began thinking about my #OLW. Teacher Leadership is always a focus.  All teachers can grow as both teachers and leaders because leaders truly come from the teaching ranks.


As I have been working with teachers and coaches this year, I have revisited these domains as organized by Michael Fullan.  Most of the coaches have a great deal of knowledge and learning experiences that have provided growth and strength for improving student learning.  Less time and energy has been spent on the fifth and sixth domains:  management of the change process and the sense of moral purpose.

Are all 6 domains evenly balanced?  Should they be?

I’ve been wondering about balance again for awhile.  Should there be a sense of teacher agency and urgency for more actions in domains 4, 5, and 6?  Are more “successful” teachers/coaches aware of these domains?  What would their own rating be?

Where are your strengths?

Many words surfaced. My blog posts are testaments to many actions/learning especially in domains one and three.  Domain two is evident in conferences and PD attendance as well as on-line and face to face work with teachers and coaches.

Change is often necessary as different results require a change in instruction and perhaps a different focus for assessment.  Moral purpose may be offset by a sense of urgency. For sure, students must be at the center of all decision-making so that requires student-centered thinking/planning/organizing.  An action research cycle with student learning as the focus could very well be an avenue to increase the use of those top two domains.

What will that change take?






A plan

A goal

Constant Adjustment

and the ability to be



In order to be ready for growth and learning, my word found me

brave word art.JPG

This may mean going against the mainstream beliefs.

This may mean constantly checking my mindset.

This may mean that there will be some bumps in the road.

This may mean longer periods of silence in a “no excuses” role.

This may mean abandoning “but we’ve always done it this way”.

This will mean that students will always be the number 1 consideration.

Because the end result for students  . . .


is a rainbow of possibilities!

What’s your #OneLittleWord?  How did it find you?

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

(And so exciting to know that Melanie and I share the same word – BRAVE! for 2017!)

Ted Talk – Kimberly Davis (@onstageKimberly) – BRAVE


26 responses

  1. Fran, love YOUR word. My very talented co-teacher and her students focused on this word last year. She is also a great photographer and at the end of the year, made this video. (She is the pretty woman with the red hair at the beginning and the end!) Since BRAVE is your word, you got to watch it!! Enjoy being brave in 2017! I hope our paths physically cross this year!

    1. Sally,
      thanks for the video. What an interesting way to document the year. I can’t wait for our paths to cross! ❤

  2. BRAVE! Oh, how I love this word! I think it’s a perfect word for you. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks, Michelle! It’s going to be a fabulous year! ❤

  3. Brave was on my list. Like I said to Melanie, I think you are already brave. But now you can embrace your courage and use it with more intention than ever. You go girl!

    1. Margaret,
      I think “use it with more intention than ever” is the perfect goal! Thank you! And Happy New Year to YOU! ❤

  4. Bravery is a mindset. It doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It means you are willing to face your fears and take on challenges. Wishing you all the best for 2017.

    1. Adrienne,
      Thank you so much! YES to “willing to face your fears and take on challenges” in 2017! And the best to you as well!

  5. I loved reading about your process of finding this word. I hope brave brings you endless possibilities for the coming year. One of the best things about this word is that your students are going to benefit as well! Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks, Leigh Anne!
      The search and then the use of the “word” are a major part of the journey! You will be hearing about my progress throughout the year!
      Happy 2017! ❤

  6. This is you. You are brave. I am, we are lucky to live in your wake of bravery.

    1. Julieanne,
      There is a price to pay with “brave” and some days the headache and emotional toil is HUGE! Necessary and YET also so worrisome! I’m inspired to “do better, be stronger, and BE BRAVE” by so many fabulous teachers like YOU! ❤

  7. Brave is a big word. You are a strong wise woman and this word is perfect for you.

    1. Bless you! Some days the strength is only in my head! And that’s why I needed a “bigger” statement this year! ❤

  8. What a great word, Fran. Bravery can take so many forms. Some acts can be big and some can be small. Sometimes the small acts of bravery have more of an impact then the big ones because of what is needed to accomplish them, Wishing you a “brave” 2017.

    1. Thank you for the kind words!

      This is so true: “Sometimes the small acts of bravery have more of an impact then the big ones because of what is needed to accomplish them.” Often the small acts seem to be like a snowball – continually growing as they roll down the hill! Getting “started” is always the key!

      Have a great “finishing” 2017 as well!

  9. Now that’s the word that already comes to mind when I think of you, Fran…bravo!

    1. How kind, Tara! I’m always ready for the little acts of bravery but those that first appear to be “mountain-sized” definitely require a whole different thought process!

      Happy 2017!

  10. Fran- I think your word is perfect for the role that you play in teachers’ lives! Have you read the book “Presence- Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges?” by Amy Cuddy? Our literacy specialists are currently reading and discussing Presence. I believe your post would resonate with many of them and relate to their discussions of Presence!

    1. Thank you for the new resource, Susan. I don’t know that book but I’m going to look into it! ❤

  11. Great word- I love the description of your journey! My word this year is challenge, for some similar reasons to what you wrote. Happy New Year!

    1. May you rise up to meet all the challenges that 2017 brings you, Amy! I thought about challenge but I wasn’t sure that it was going to cause me to “become” more intentional. So many great words and so many great reasons! ❤

  12. […] How I found my #OLW:  #SOL17:  #OLW […]

  13. […] quick perusal of archives finds these two posts:  my January 3rd announcement here and a March check in here that was incredibly sad.  2017 has been a year of […]

  14. […] ideas, rechecked my understanding, watched this video of Kimberly Davis and finally announced it here.  I embraced, Brave, and changed the wallpaper on my […]

  15. […] This post has more about the origin of #OLW and links to other past posts about the purpose and process. Today’s post is a reflection on my 2018 OLW.  It was evident on my blog as it literally was a part of the wallpaper:  Curious! […]

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