One Word 2016: Deliberate


In 2015, I tried to capture my word, prioritize, with a system that would make me a together teacher, help me prioritize my daily tasks, empower me to take control of my life; consequently, this would  allow me more time for life outside of school including my family. Looking back, I think the people who write books about prioritizing have a proclivity for prioritizing. These people are nuts and bolts people who zoom their focus and get things done.

The small changes did not take hold, and I found myself not completing tasks during the school day, not making it home before dinner, and not doing what I wanted to do outside of school. Ultimately, all the nuts and bolts of the system were too overwhelming, and I took on too much at once without being deliberate.

Why did I hit a wall and what word might help me as I move forward? Obviously prioritization won’t work without a conscious and deliberate effort on my part. Time slips away, moments are lost, to do lists are never made much less completed. In reflecting, I realize that my mind lacks skills necessary to prioritize the to dos unless I consciously know what my to dos are. How can I connect the dots if I don’t know what in the heck the dots are?

Ultimately, my goal is to better balance the different areas of my life. Of course, until I deliberately focus on each one of those dots, I won’t be able to zoom my focus, get things done, and have a life.


My One Word: Deliberate.

Deliberate hovers above the peak of the mountain in this picture. I realize that I won’t always deliberate and/or be deliberate in what I do. Like Maslow’s self-actualizing pyramid, this is my ideal self, my focus, my goal. And when I don’t reach that ideal, I’ll just climb up that mountain again and reach onward and upward.


I spent some time trying out my word by Googling and  researching the possibilities. Below are some words and images that led me to my word from the dictionary to Thoreau to a book for people in the business field.





Deliberate has meaning to me as both a verb and and adjective (yes, I like the simplicity of the kids’ definitions).

Deliberate (v.)  A verb I can use–think before I speak and act. I think that this internal processing will help me to plan, organize, teach, and interact.

Deliberate (adj.)  I need to be intentional and purposeful in what I do. Also, I need to slow things down–the hamster on the wheel needs to step off that wheel and be prudent and purposeful. I need to listen more, speak less. I need to let others drive.





Words from Thoreau’s Walden

Yes, I’d like to live. While I cannot go into the woods and live on my own, I need to find some time to just be. I need to find a way to focus on the important elements of life. I’ll reflect on this later.


Deliberate Practice is the key to bettering yourself, the key to teaching, and the key to learning. I plan to look more into this as the year moves forward. Below is the link to an article about deliberate practice:

What Mozart and Kobe Bryant Can Teach Us About Deliberate Practice

Clear asserts, “What feels like struggle and frustration is often skill development and growth. What looks like little pay and no recognition is often the price you have to pay to discover your best work. In other words, what looks like failure is often the foundation of success.”

Deliberate practice…what does this look like? Here is one example:12330366975_072d3c0b06_o.png

from by Sacha Chua


Marzano explains what deliberate practice is in the classroom. I may work this in to my word as well.


deliberate success 4 ds

I found this diagram in an excerpt from an  book online created for business leaders. Still, though, I like the ideas presented in the book. This diagram is powerful. I plan to look into it and think about how it applies in my life.


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