The Power of One Little Word

fullsizerender-78     Reading posts on Two Writing Teachers these past few weeks has left me moved, touched, and inspired.  Although Two Writing Teachers is a website written mainly for teachers of writing and literacy coaches (like myself), all of us may be interested in one topic the authors of this blog re-visit each year: The Power of One Little Word.   The idea of “One Little Word” (OLW) has always gently intrigued me, and so this year I have decided to really check it out (thank you to Fran McVeigh for posting Ali Edwards’s video link).  And so, I have begun thinking…what will be my one little word?
     I am new to this concept, so forgive me if I sound a bit like a beginner here.  As I understand it, one little word is a word that both resonates temporally and powerfully, and acts as a guide in your everyday life.  And it’s different than a resolution, something that has always felt hard…well, okay, impossible to fulfill on.  If I have got this right, one little word really serves to precipitate more frequent noticing in our lives.
     Let me explain.
     I have selected the word LIGHT as my one little word.  And since I have done so, I have begun to notice more.  I have noticed when I’m not being LIGHT in my life, but instead being heavy or significant.  I have noticed when I’m not being LIGHT with my children.  With my wife.  With my colleagues.  With my students.
     And that has changed everything.
     When you notice something, you place yourself in a position to do something about it.  You have a choice.  You could, of course NOT do something about it.  But the noticing when I’m not being LIGHT has afforded me the opportunity to become LIGHT.  And I love how LIGHT is a noun, a verb, and an adjective—all in one!  Just that fact alone has helped me jump on board with this whole OLW movement.  It’s nice to have options.
Being LIGHT, I can:
  • ·         Stimulate visibility for others.
  • ·         Understand a problem.
  • ·         Illuminate something.
  • ·         Remove darkness.
  •       Act and react in ways becoming of LIGHTness.


     So LIGHT is working.  But for me, it really is more about the noticing than anything else.  The word LIGHT has led to more freedom, more joy, more relatedness, and a more abundant presence of affinity.
As you begin a new year, you might consider one little word that might make a difference for you and the young reader(s) and writer(s) in your life.  I would love to hear your word in the comments section of this blog!  What word will you choose?  Why that word?


     It’s only January, so there’s a long year ahead.  But knowing there is LIGHT not just at the end of the tunnel, but across the entire tunnel, makes this a pretty exciting year.

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

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