Intentionality: the fact of being deliberate or purposive. We all know what intentionality means, and we know how important it is, but often, we forget. We get caught up in our day to day tasks, and we could be better at being more intentional.

As I was listening to George Couros' podcast with Dwight Carter, I was reminded of how intentional I need to be, and want to be. Mainly because, I have little ones watching. At home and at school, and they deserve intentionality from me.

Below are some ways I am striving to be more intentional.

1. What I share about my experiences can encourage or discourage my students.

Dwight Carter brought this up in the podcast I referred to above. He mentioned that if we, teachers, display what colleges we went to outside our doors, that sends a specific message to anyone who sees it. That we are promoting college and not all different pathways are being encouraged. What other messages am I sending? What body language, books, etc. am I communicating?

2. My words and actions have power.

We all know what we say and do have power, but until you're in front of 25 5 year olds, or any large group that you are facilitating learning and discussion, you don't realize how powerful they are. I was able to reflect on some of my actions and words from this past school year, and noticed some anxiety I was causing my students. I noticed this at home with my own son as well. Taking time to reflect is allowing me to do better, and to really examine my words and actions so they bring about positive feelings and actions.

3. Spend time on what is most important.

I recently reflected on how I manage and begin the beginning of kindergarten with a friend. It was so helpful to verbally talk through this, and also gather ideas on how to do better, and what worked well for her. I would love to spend more intentional time on community circle and building that classroom community even better. Spending days and weeks on how this looks, sounds, feels like, and more, will only benefit my students and I in the long run. Considering how we all spent the last few months, this will be even more important now.

4. Slowing down.

One of the things I learned during COVID-19 was to slow down. Slowing down in my personal life and at school. I really want to focus on going deeper, and not rushing through our days. One thing I have noticed from rushing through lessons, skills, playing, etc. is anxiety. Anxiety levels in everyone increase, and no one feels great being anxious. I surely do not want to be the one who causes anxiety.

How will you be more intentional? What steps are you taking to reflect? How can you plan out a few areas of your day, week, or year, by being more intentional?