One-word inspiration: HIS teachers paint rocks as motivation for upcoming school year

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The words we choose to use each day carry a tremendous amount of weight, and whether we like or not, those words can leave a positive or negative impact to those around us.

Administrators and teachers at Helena Intermediate School have decided to take a one-word approach and apply it to the 2017-18 school year in the form of painted rocks.

On Thursday, Aug. 3, all the HIS administrators and faculty met in the media center where they were greeted with rocks.

Helena Intermediate School principal Kathy Paiml said she came up with the idea for each teacher and administrator to paint a rock using one word that will be their own personal inspiration for the entire school year.

“I got the idea from the game where people hide rocks around the city. I read the book ‘One Word that Will Change Your Life,’ and I thought to put the two ideas together,” Paiml said. “In the book teachers and administrators chose one word as their focus word and I got the idea with the rocks. The goal is to pick one word and write it on the rock. These are basically personal mission statements.”

After watching a short video on vision, the teachers and administrators began brainstorming and choosing a word to paint on their own rocks.

Words like believe, grateful, worthy, forgiven, relax, trust, confidence, love, cherish, consistency, enjoy, inspire, connect and more could be seen on the rocks.

Third grade special education teacher Hailey Morris chose to paint the word “Laugh,” on her rock and that will be her focus for the upcoming school year.

“I chose laugh because I think that’s just really important because there’s going to be a lot of things that happen throughout the school year that maybe are going to be stressful or overwhelming or just things that are out of my control,” Morris said. “As long as I can remember to just find things that I can laugh about throughout the day it’ll make things a lot easier. Just being able to laugh at myself too.”

Helena Intermediate PE teacher Brandon Byars chose to paint the word “Confidence,” because it’s a word he’s used multiple times throughout his life.

“PE is one of those things that not everyone is confident in and I chose this word because it’s one I’ve used throughout my life,” Byars said. “Just having confidence in my lessons and showing the students they can have confidence in themselves is the main thing.”

Paiml chose to paint the word “Present,” to remind her to always be present in the classroom and everywhere else this school year.

The first day of school is Aug. 8, and HIS teachers and administrators plan to share the meaning behind their rocks to the students.