One Word and Focus
Kids grow up so fast.
The world changes even faster.
What will your students be like in five years? Ten years?
Do they have a vision for the future? Do they have an idea of the values and the principles that are their foundation?
Stephen Covey wrote extensively about the importance of having a vision for the future and the necessity of being proactive and beginning with the end in mind. Although well known for his Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, he also wrote about and created a program for families as well as businesses to encourage them to design a mission statement.
Why One Word?
In recent years there has been a movement to focus on one word for the year instead of creating resolutions or goals. While I believe both to be important, I do think that focusing first on one word as a cornerstone for the year is a vital and worthwhile approach. Most goals or resolutions fail because individuals focus on doing rather than first being. While actions are important and necessary, they must first come from a mindset of who we want to be or our vision of our best self.
Even small children can be encouraged to select a word as their focus for the year. I often did this exercise in classroom guidance lessons and students always enjoyed it. Not only does it immediately engage their creative side but also gives great insight as to their interests and goals. Here’s how:
Selecting a Word
Have each student select a word to focus on for the year. Some questions to think about might be:
What word would describe what you think should be?
What do you really want to accomplish in the upcoming year?
How should you treat others?
How are you different and unique?
How can you be the best you can be?
What are your dreams for the future?
Write down the ideas and then select one word to focus on for the year.
Making a Classroom Vision Board
Just as determining your own one word can empower you personally and help you determine your priorities, it can transform a classroom as well. Throughout the year, you can ask both the student and yourself: Am I following our class mission with my words and actions? If not, how can I change my words and actions so that I am true to the mission of our class? I can’t think of anything more powerful that you can do as an educator than to develop a focus in 2015 than to select one word to guide you.
School Counselor Resource
Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Being Organized and Puppet
Helping kids set goals and make resolutions for the New Year? Need a book to get kids organized?
Here’s a story to teach easy to learn techniques:
Now you can get Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Being Organized and the Wyatt puppet to help you tell the story.
Just like all the Wyatt books, the story is a grab ‘n go lesson with discussion questions and an activity in the back to teach time management.
Supplies are limited so grab it now:
It’s time to catch the school bus and Wyatt can’t find anything. Where is his backpack? his lunch money? Wyatt is about to learn a valuable lesson about the importance of being organized and the benefits of planning ahead. This adorable story offers simple helpful ideas that kids and parents can use to make life less stressful and more fun.
If you’ve ever lost your lunch money or misplaced your favorite toy, you can relate to Wyatt. this adorable story offers simple, helpful ideas that kids and parents can use to make life less stressful and more fun! Erin K. Casey, author of Zany Zia’s Hats to Where
Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Mindset
Wyatt the Wonder Dog didn’t make it on the All Star baseball team and he feels like a loser. All his friends will be playing baseball this summer, while he and his pesky sister, Callie, visit grandparents at the beach. How Wyatt learns to handle disappointment and failure will be an important lesson for the future. Will he give up trying new things? Will he have the confidence to try again? Are there some things that take more practice and persistence to learn than others?
This book is funny! Its dogs doing things that only people do! I learned to try new things. ~ ~Samuel Traub, Age 6