Goal Planning

It’s a new year and there’s been a lot of posts on social media about New Year’s Resolutions, goal setting, etc.  I’m really not one for resolutions but am all for goal setting, and more importantly, goal planning.  A new year is a good time to reflect upon accomplishments and challenges.  However, I believe all of us do better with goal planning.  A goal, or objective, will unlikely be met if we are not actively evaluating and taking actions to reach our goal.  Think about all of those forgotten or never reached New Year’s Resolutions.  It’s hard for adults.  Imagine how hard it is for students.  If we are not engaging with them to discuss their goals, they may never reach them.  Our students set goals at the start of the school year and now is the perfect time to connect with each of them to check-in on their progress.

Plan. Do. Check. Act. (Repeat).

Now is the time to teach our students how to create an action plan, manage a schedule, reflect, and take actions towards their goals.  It’s also an opportunity to consider student-led conferences to discuss what’s working and what isn’t and their challenges and successes from their perspective.  Allowing students to lead the conversation.  There are many ways to stay organized offline and online, like journals and Google Calendar, where students can reflect on daily/weekly progress and add daily/weekly action items to reach their goals.  Goal planning can also involve students identifying other important teachers, coaches, and parents that can help students reach their goals.  Finally, the whole process of creating an action plan and reflecting upon learning promotes and teaches metacognition.

Ideas:

  • Use calendars, task lists, and journals (offline or online) to break the marking period or year into manageable windows.
  • Use journals (offline or online) for weekly reflections.
  • Provide students reflective prompts.
  • Give students specific, targeted, and empowering feedback.
  • Use motivational and inspiring quotes.
  • Consider portfolios to showcase progress and final goals/objectives
  • Teach students how to track progress on any of the online programs that they use.

Please feel free to share your ideas and strategies in the comments section of this blog post.  Happy goal planning!

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