#Oneword2022 Is Aspire


December 27, 2021 by Dr. Robbie Barber

The concept of the #oneword, such as I understand it, is to have a word to focus on throughout the year. One that might guide you or lift you up or provide a smile when you need it. My #oneword2021 was “Family” and I held to that word over and over when I made decisions. It made me happy when I was feeling low. Now, I need new guidance for the calendar year 2022.

And the guidance for the new calendar year, can’t come soon enough. I did a small investigation into school emails. In the ten months of the school year 2018-2019, a.k.a. pre-COVID, a quick scan of the subject line of emails found two that began “Please keep xxx in your prayers”.  These were teachers and staff who had lost a family member.  In the first four months of SY 2021-22, I have twelve (12) of those starting emails, including the loss of one of our own teachers.  It is, to me, the clearest indication of a change in our lives from the pandemic.  Everyone who passed was not COVID-related, but the sheer increase of notices by a factor of six leads us to assume a correlation. (This does not include private emails or notices of teachers I knew from other locations. This is just the standard email in this building sent by the principal’s secretary.)

In the face of this challenge, I need a word to help me focus. I want to hope for more. To be honest, I’m not sure what “more” is yet. I want more travel. I want more safety. I want to write more. I want to explore my research more. I want to try more methods of teaching. But the word “more” doesn’t move me forward emotionally.

To emotionally engage, I choose the word “Aspire”. According to the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary, “aspire” means “to want to have or achieve something.”

I aspire to do more writing. I aspire to do more traveling. I aspire to seek new opportunities for growth. Even if I’m not really sure where I’m heading, I want to reach for something. I think when I falter this coming calendar year, and I will(!), I will aspire to do better.

What’s your #oneword2022? And why?


Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Aspire. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved December 27, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aspire

Quote Investigator. (Nov. 2012). “If I Shoot at the Sun, I May Hit a Star.” https://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/11/20/shoot-at-sun/

One thought on “#Oneword2022 Is Aspire

  1. […] important, uplift me, or help me focus during the calendar year. Last year, the word was Aspire. And, when I remembered to look at the word, it did help me to push through and work on various […]


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