Death and Your Google Account: The One Setting to Enable Now

I have only one hazy memory of Sunday, January 31, 2016: 

The utter silence of my parents and my cousin as they sat in my hospital room with anguish and worry on their faces. The loud sound of my exhale, watching my chest rise slowly with an inhale. And then I went back to sleep. 

Several weeks later, I was working late, buried in Google Drive, when I suddenly found myself thinking about that January day. I have a MASSIVE digital footprint. If I were ever to pass away, the task of accessing and managing my digital identity alone would be daunting, not to mention incredibly painful for the family member or friend who would need to do it.

What if I had remained debilitated in the hospital? For several weeks? Months? Or worse yet–

What if I had not recovered? What would happen to all my digital content? All my photos? How would someone access my email? To be able to sleuth out my bazillion passwords?

That evening, I discovered Google’s FANTASTIC solution to this inevitable issue:

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GRIT: My 2017 One Word (#OneWord365)

After weeks of introspection (and way too many iPhone screenshots of Google-searched definitions), I have decided upon my individual 2017 One Word: GRIT.

Read more about the #OneWord365 movement and how to find your One Word (and how you can use it with students!) right here.

Forget Resolutions; Pick “One Word” for the New Year (Great for Students)

If you could sum up who you want to be or how you want to live in ONE WORD for the next year, what would that one word be?  That’s the challenge put forth by One Word 365.

#OneWord365 dumps the ineffective act of traditional resolutions then asks us to find a single word to shape the entire year ahead. 

Not only does the #OneWord365 movement partake in a powerful act of minimalism, but also does it require you to be intentional and committed to living and imbuing that one word as a directive force into everything you do the next 12 months.

I did this activity with high school Spanish students. The level of depth of their introspection and conversation surprised me. This task was personally meaningful to them.

I would recommend bringing this alternative and much more mindful approach to New Year’s Resolutions to any classroom.

Ideas on using OneWord365 with Students and Faculty:

  • Integrated with previously learned or new vocabulary, especially for Litties
  • Geared toward just one class for one semester (i.e. a word of “FOCUS” for math class)
  • Incorporated into behavioral interventions for the semester/school year.
  • Applied within specific faculty PLC (Professional Learning Community) groups either as individual enrichment or group-specific intentions

I will be encouraging my schools to take up a One Word for 2017 instead of goals. How nifty would it be if an entire faculty came together to pick a One Word for their school culture for the new year?

A challenge for you:  Choose your one word to drive you for the new year.

This is the word that you must bring to mind when you make decisions, when you design milestones, and which will direct you in all you do.

So, what’s your One Word? Do you need ideas? Check out what other people have chosen by exploring the Twitter hashtag #OneWord365. (Here’s my One Word for 2017.)

Educators: Share Your Story!

My First Class Ever

CONFESSION:  My first day teaching was nearly my first day teaching ever.

My only prior experience was substituting at a variety of schools, levels, and classes for one semester and a four-week stint as clerical support for summer school running queries and assisting with grade books.

So, when I walked into pre-planning that late July, I was expertly adept in SASIxp, classroomXP, and Integrade Pro, but other than speaking the language I was going to teach, I knew little about how to teach in general, much less how to teach the subject itself.

I realized that if I wanted truly to be effective in my role, I had to learn as much as possible, and I had to learn as an apprentice from the masters in the field. So, I embraced my lack of experience and asked for help openly.

As most educators know well, teaching is so much more than what content to deliver when. I realized that fact from my one semester as a substitute. When I asked for help, I did not ask for worksheets, unit guides, or lesson plan ideas. Instead, I asked for something more–

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