In 2015 I sought to empower others. I felt good about it, but in reality I always want to do that. I always want to do more in that area. In 2016 my goal was to create. After some great experiences, projects, and the creation of The Global Audience Project I would say it was at least a partial success. I know I need to finish more. I need to complete more this year and while “finish” would have been an interesting choice for my word this year, it includes a finality that I am never comfortable with using. All of the things I work on are constantly in a state of improvement.
I thought about skipping this year for a single word. It was difficult to imagine how it would be sufficient to describe the many goals I have for myself. Reflecting on this past year has reminded me of something, my voice has been missing. I have spent this year in the background of many discussions. After three years as an active social media user, blogger, and public educator, I realized how little I had shared this year through my public presence. If I was not at an event or publicizing something I had created, my public presence has diminished. That may be a natural thing for many educators. My use of twitter and other social media has been about developing connections. I feel strongly about the success of that in the past year, but I also remember how I created those connections in the first place.
I am indebted to the many amazing people with whom I have connected over the past three years, but what I haven’t done enough in the past year, is find new people. I have found some great people in 2016. Some of them have made my life immeasurably better, but the pool to choose from has become much smaller.
Ultimately, what I regret most is that I have not injected my voice. I have shared many ideas in small groups, in quiet discussions. I used to share that voice regularly, and it connected me with amazing people. This year I will find a way to rediscover my voice. I plan to recommit to blogging on a more regular basis, sharing my ideas and asking more questions in public social media, and ultimately reminding myself of what I value and offer as an educator.
This will most likely mean I bore some people. It may also mean I offend others. This year I don’t plan on sugar coating my public persona, but I also don’t plan on hiding it as much either. My voice is one that asks a lot of questions, one that thinks logically and analytically, and offers pushback on the all too frequent bumper sticker statements that clutter social media. It may not always be what you want to hear, but it will be honest, it will be well thought out, and it will be heard.