By: Julie Teahon
Happy New Year! A phrase many are excited to hear and say because it means “New Year, New Me!” Well, I am not exactly thrilled to ever hear that statement.
During the last week of December, the commercials and ads start showing up about creating new year’s resolutions and how they can help. First of all, I would love to yell, “Resolutions? Me?? Are you implying that I need to change something about myself?” Resolutions seem to make you go through your life and look just for the negative. Then I start to think of all the negative things I could change like…..stop eating sugar. I will try to stop “cold turkey” and bam….. my daughter’s birthday is Jan. 3rd and there is no way I am going to miss the frosting filled cake! My resolution has failed and I’m done 3 days into the new year, new me. I now feel like a big failure!!
The first week back to school, I noticed my kids sitting at the table writing something to our Superintendent/Principal. I asked them what they were doing and they explained something to me that clicked. The Superintendent/Principal talked about how resolutions are really popular around the first of the year and that they are often hard to stick to. He explained that the students should look at some actionable life changes that are more personal, like kindness, sleep habits, organization, risk taking, etc. He gave them an example, “Don’t just make a goal to get an A but to make an intention that would lead to getting more A’s, like asking more questions in class”.
I found that very interesting. The word intention does not imply something is wrong, but instead, it can motivate you to live an even better life. Thinking about the difference between a resolution and intention, I noticed that a resolution is trying to meet a goal for the new year and offer very flexible solutions and most likely result in failure. Setting an intention on something you are already doing allows you to make a change in something you are familiar with and inspires you to take action.
An intention is something to live by that you can carry with you throughout the year and beyond. When you set an intention, you focus on what you are already doing and make it better. So, how can you go about setting a powerful intention for the new year? Here are some intentions that I have set for myself that will be very achievable.
I would call myself pretty organized, others would call me a sticky note hoarder. So instead of having sticky notes all over my desk, I could make an intention to use Jamboard instead. I still have my sticky notes, but now they are in a nice and organized area, just for my view.
My students love when I read books to them. I even have 20 minutes set aside, after lunch recess, to read to them. To make the stories more interesting, I love the app Novel Effect. The students love it and are very engaged. To make the app more useful, I will be setting an intention to have my students use the app while they read to make oral fluency more fun.
My final intention is to make retelling stories more engaging. Along with my students, I want to also learn new technology so I have been learning about shapegrams. My intention is to learn more about shapegrams so my students will be more engaged when retelling stories or even creating them.
When creating an intention, look at what you are doing that is successful and you are comfortable with. Then find a way to make it even better. For my intention on cutting out sugar….I’ll ponder on that while I snack on a piece of birthday cake.