Setting Meaningful Intentions

Summer is the time to set your intentions for the new school year. When the hallways are quiet and the classrooms are empty, reflect and create intentions for your team that will articulate your work for the upcoming year. Reflection is the first step. Take time to look back before you look ahead on the challenges and successes of the year. Then, create two or three intentions to guide your work.

How do I set meaningful intentions?

Setting meaningful intentions takes time. Strategic work is thoughtful, long-term, and can shift culture. In schools, strategic work should always center student growth and be grounded in the school mission.

  • Center students. Ask yourself: What is best for students? Keep your intentions grounded in this central idea.
  • Keep your school mission, vision, and values as the foundation.
  • What are the areas in your school or your team that need improvement? Make a list.
  • What themes do you see emerging in your list?
  • Categorize the issues into groups of similarity. 

For example, your possible list might include:

  • Take a close look at report cards and parent conferences
  • Investigate faculty evaluation protocols and feedback
  • Build stronger relationships in the division and in teams

What themes do you see emerging?

  • Communication: clear, thoughtful, and effective (with parents, with colleagues, around feedback)
  • Support: growth centered, productive feedback(supporting families, students, faculty)
  • Collaboration: partnering, listening, empathizing (teams working together, teachers and parents working together, supervisor and faculty working together)

Then your strategic intentions for the upcoming year are communication, support, and collaboration all in the service of student growth and in the service of the school mission. 

Next Steps: 

As you spend the summer planning for next year, keep in mind these strategic initiatives for your team. Keep them as a central focus in your work throughout the year as you work on issues central to your team. This type of thoughtful, intentional planning can create a focused year in which you accomplish goals and shift culture as a leader.