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Certified PreK-6. Masters in Child Development. Advocate for play, teacher & children choice, & the family's voice. Believe in volunteering as social justice.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hope in 2013

Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to facilitate an art workshop (as one of my many jobs as an Arts Learning Educator in a children's museum) in which the children and families were making wish amulets. The beginning of the workshop started with a discussion on why people may choose to make resolutions at the New Year and that by making a ritual of making a goal the goal seems more attainable. I then asked the families if they would think about wishes for this new year instead/in addition to resolutions. This led to a mother explaining to her child that a wish is a something you hope will happen.

A wish is a hope. That struck me as a wonderful way to start a new year, particularly a year that will be full of many changes in my own life. Inspired by the families in the workshop and by Scott's post on his one word for 2013 at his blog Brick by Brick, I have decided that my word for 2013 will be hope. Hope will guide me as I begin the new year and as I embrace the changes that will come.

But true hope cannot exist without action. True hope requires one to act with intention and choice, with faith in their actions. No, 2013 will not be a idle year of making wishes and expecting them to come true just because I am hopeful. Instead, 2013 will be a year of action and new experience, guided by the hope that my actions will lead me where I want to be. I will use hope to give me courage as I graduate from my master's program and make decisions on how I want to use my knowledge, skills, and experience to shape early childhood education. I will use hope to guide me as I continue to fight for social justice through my small actions of volunteering and acts of kindness. I will use hope to remind me that I believe in what I do and that the struggles are worth pushing past. I will use hope to help me bring hope to others.

My hopes for 2013 include more respect and trust in the voice and experience of teachers, more respect for play and the essence of childhood, an inclusiveness for all types of families in our schools, parks, and daycares, more collaboration among educators and parents, deeper understanding of child development over content to guide our practice and decision making, and a start to a world where children are fed, safe, and joyful.

I am starting 2013 with hope. Will you join me?

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