Monday, January 2, 2012

Balance in the New Year

I've been out of town visiting family and am just now catching up on all of the New Year blog posts. One thing I noticed is that several bloggers are not posting New Year's resolutions, but rather selecting one word that sums up a "philosophy" to live by for the year.

2011 was a year of definite highs, devastating lows, and major changes for me. I achieved full professor at the college where I teach, my mother passed away, and my only son went to college. Adjusting to these changes has been challenging to say the least, but I also have an amazing husband and wonderful students whom I have the privilege to teach. Keeping it all in perspective is the difficult part sometimes. That's why I think if I were to choose a word for 2012, it would be balance.

In the field of reading education, achieving balance in literacy instruction (balanced literacy) is "a complex process that requires flexibility and artful orchestration of literacy's various contextual and conceptual aspects."* I think life requires that same flexibility and artful orchestration. It's like trying to navigate across multiple balance beams. Sometimes, we might need to stay on one beam longer than another, but all of the beams need to be traversed thoughtfully. Here's to putting on my balance beam shoes!

I wish everyone a Happy New Year and success with your resolutions or "words" for 2012!

* Pearson, P., Raphael, T., Benson, V., & Madda, C. (2007). Balance in comprehensive literacy instruction: Then and now. In L. Gambrell, L. Morrow, & M. Pressley (Eds.), Best practices in literacy instruction (3rd ed., pp. 31-54). NY: Guilford

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