[STAFF SPOTLIGHT] How to Create a Culture of Setting Intention in High School

connection intention secondary spotlight staff

The quote by Brendan Burchard summarizes intentions beautifully: "First it’s an intention, then a behavior, then a habit, then a second nature, and then it’s simply just who you are." Setting intentions is really the seed of how we behave.

Why Setting Intention is Important?

  • Setting intentions keeps you grounded.  Intentions keep you living in the now rather than in the future or in the past.
  • A positive intention can result in a positive frame of mind and positive results. Your good intention for the day, for example, kindness, will spark more kind actions towards yourself in others.

It’s exciting to know that we have the power to set our day up for success by being intentional with our thoughts. It’s a great reminder that, “You are the gardener of your mind, and you are sowing seeds every moment of every day with the thoughts that you think and the actions that you take. The seeds you plant today will determine tomorrow’s harvest.”

A great idea from Anne Malver from Eatonville High School sparked creating intentions/planting bulbs. Here’s where it all started:

"As you know, this is my first year at the high school, and my promise to myself was that I'd take some time to be an observer and to focus on making connections. So as to tame my enthusiasm to jump in an "do" right away, I posted photos of Jane Goodall in various places in my office, binoculars around her neck, observing in silence :) These act as reminders to watch closely!  One thing I noticed right away is that students have not been taught about setting intentions nor have they been introduced to the power of mindfulness practices and the impact these have on our lives. Looking out my office window, I noticed an abandoned student project - a sustainable rain garden. Appearing strangled by weeds, lavender plants cried out to me for more room to grow. A sweet pebbled path asked to be cleared once again so students could gain access to the thinking bench now partly covered by overgrowth. Hand-painted rocks lie forgotten and unnoticed amongst the brush. Right away, I saw an opportunity to transform, and right away, I knew this project would be student-led. "

"I spread this vision to anyone and everyone who came in my office (and beyond). The enthusiasm spread and before I knew it, our ASB President and I met to discuss details! Our maintenance supervisor and principal approved the project; Our Sustainability Club purchased the bulbs; I emailed all staff asking for a loan of gardening trowels; Thus the project took off from vision to reality. Now, during our first-period Advisories, students meet me outside at the flagpole for a quick orientation and get to work planting with intention. Students are encouraged to set an intention for this school year, such as perseverance, kindness, generosity, loyalty, honesty, and if that doesn't ring clear for them, they're encouraged to write a wish for a friend. Looking ahead to spring, I envision a day of gratitude, where each student harvests a flower and gives it to someone for whom they're grateful!"

Learn more about setting intentions and goal setting in our Foundational training! And if you can't attend one of our trainings, you can access the training through our Generation Wellness Toolkit.

The Generation Wellness Spotlight highlights educators around the world who have attended the Generation Wellness training. We believe in sharing the good work that our #wellnesswarriors are doing to create a better school, community, and world. If you have a story you would like to share, email us at: [email protected].



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