I love the fresh start each New Year brings! I cannot tell you how many ideas I have had which never came to fruition because I did not set goals in the past. This year I am going to pursue my ideas, goals, and dreams! Pursue is my word for 2019 and I cannot wait to see where this year takes me because I am going to be intentional. Gosh intentional is such a buzz word right now, but it is so important to achieving what we want in life. Being intentional with goal setting is also important in the classroom. As teachers, we do this easily with lesson planning, but have you ever visualized what you want for your students at the end of the school year? Have your students ever visualized and made goals for what they want at the end of the year?
Goal Setting For You, The Teacher
To set intention for the rest of the school year, the first thing you need to do is visualize what you want at the end of the year. Visualize the answers the following questions:
- How do I want to look and feel at the end of this school year?
- How do I want my relationships with my colleagues to look and feel?
- How do I want my relationship with my significant other and family members to look and feel?
- What is my ideal financial state at the end of the school year?
- What do I want my classroom to be like at the end of the year? What do I want my students to accomplish by the end of the year?
After you have visualized what all of these things could look like, ask yourself, “How do I get there?” This is going to take some time and you must have a clear vision of what you want before you can write down goals to achieve it. When you are ready to write out your goals, you can use the organizer I have created. (Download it at the bottom of this post.)
Finally, post the organizer and your goals in a place you look at every day. It’s up to you if you want it to be visible to others. A good place could be where you store your purse/belongings, on the wall by your computer, or maybe inside a closet/cabinet.
Goal Setting For The Students
Being intentional and setting goals is a skill which must be taught to students. This is something I believe even the youngest student can learn. A kindergarten student can visualize themselves beating someone in a race, why can’t they visualize themselves reading at the end of the year? Again, this skill is something which has to be taught with intention. Visualization is also an important reading skill!
Take your students through the following visualization activity:
- Tell the students to close their eyes and picture their favorite ice cream. Then tell them the ice cream is in a cone and there are two scoops on top. The sun is hot and their ice cream begins to melt all over their hand.
- Have them open their eyes and have a few kids share what they saw.
- Next have them close their eyes and picture their favorite place to be. Have them visualize if they are sitting or standing, is it light or dark, what else is in this place besides them?
- Allow time to share with one person what they visualized.
- Then have them close their eyes for the last time.
- This time they need to visualize what their ideal family interactions look like.
- What do their ideal friendships like?
- What would make this school year the best it could be?
- What do they look like at the end of the best school year ever?
- Then pass out the organizer which can be found at the bottom of this post. Have them write goals for family, friends, school, and me.
- The last thing they will do is write down 3 words to describe the person they visualized. Not the person they are right now, but the person they want to be.
- You could have them use these 3 words in an art activity and display them around the room.
- The goal sheets can go in a folder they often use and keep in the classroom, so they can refer back to it often.
Once a student knows where they want to go, you can use this to improve behavior. When a student makes a poor choice, ask them if the choice they made will help them to become the person they visualized? This will help them learn to progress monitor themselves as well.
Another great companion to my free goal setting organizer, is a Growth Mindset Weekly Journal for students. It has brainstorm who they want to be when they grow up and a weekly page for students to write their goals, track their progress, and write a reflection of the week. Each page also has an inspirational quote to motivate students. You can find the journal here.
I hope you are able to pursue your goals with intention this year! Cheers to the New Year!