Every year, I choose a word to focus on through the year. I am not into resolutions, because in my younger years I set myself up to fail. It took a lot of reflecting and unlearning to understand that one word would help me best.

Past words

2021: Embrace and Enjoy- I’ve worked hard my whole life, and even though I will still work hard, I had planned to slow down and enjoy what I’ve created. I also embraced new challenges and changes as they come because 2020 taught me that things will change regardless of what I had planned.

2020: Adventure (it sure was an adventure!) We had a lot of travel plans this year that unfortunately went by the wayside as the pandemic started. However, I left teaching to take a new position, and I married Chris. We spent a lot of time with those closest to us and really understood what we wanted in life. We also started a new backyard project that allowed us to extend our living space and make our home a place we wanted to stay forever.

2019: Happiness- Taking a break to enjoy life and do things that made me happy. Happiness is a long-term feeling, and after focusing on other things, I was ready to do the things that made me happy. This lead to a lot of opportunities that eventually lead me out of the classroom.

2018: Fearless- After rebuilding, I was done being afraid. I jumped into 2018 with a spirit of not letting fear stop me from doing anything. I renewed my National Board Certification this year.

2017: Rebuild- I was single-momming it. It was hard, but I decided that this was the year to rebuild myself so I could be the best person for those closest to me. It was a painful year. It was a year of a lot of growth. It set me up for success.

2016: Travel- This was the year of five summer programs and a time when I learned so much.


This year, as my career and personal life, had evolved, I needed to evolve with it. For 17 years, I was a teacher. That piece of my identity was important to me, and I found myself struggling when I was no longer in the classroom. I’m still an educator. I still work in the civic education space, but what does that mean and how I can I evolve to celebrate that?

Those thoughts brought me to the word evolve.

Now what?

I love writing this blog, and I will continue. It will evolve into more civic education-focused with sprinkles of practical educator advice. Not only am I a National Board Certified Teacher, but I’m a cognitive coach, a mentor, and a cheerleader for education. As my good friend, Beth Maloney quoted, I am a free-range educator. Although I work for a university, my passion is the state of civic education.

Thank you for being a part of this journey!

Let’s get to work!

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