Keep reading to learn how you can help your students effectively evaluate their life and desires to set appropriate goals for their school career and personal life. Doing this will give them the intrinsic desire to achieve their very best without getting swallowed up by the external pressures of feeling like they must achieve good grades or their life is over, which unfortunately is all too common in this day and age...
Why goal setting?
If done correctly, goal setting can help students feel more intrinsically motivated, make them more successful and make you the inspiring teacher they will always remember. It can be really difficult for most teachers to know how to guide them as the process can be overwhelming and let's be honest, no one ever teaches us how to do this stuff!
After a quick "goal setting" search, you'll probably notice that most resources focus on "smart targets", which is great for actual goal setting, but how do we get our students to decide on the right goals they should be setting in the first place? In my experience, that's the real challenge we're facing, and is what I am going to teach you in this blog post!
How to set effective goals:
Let's break down the process of how you can guide your students to determine the best goals for them:
1) Look back at the previous year
Looking back on how the previous year has gone for them, will provide your students with the opportunity to reflect on what went well that they can continue with and what has not gone as well as anticipated and perhaps might need to change next year. There are some specific questions that tease out this information, which is included in the Goal Setting Journal and PowerPoint resource - I'll show you more that of later.
2) List everything they want to achieve in school and life outside / beyond school
You want your students to be well-rounded individuals. It's not healthy to have such an obsession with grades only, but then academic achievement is also not something that should be ignored either. It can be a delicate balance to encouraging your students to be well-rounded people, but I can provide you with specific support and guidance with how you can help your students do this later on in this post.
3) Vision Board
Where the mind goes, the body follows. The best way for your students to be on the right path is to know what that path looks like and where the road is actually going. Too often, most people just go through life seeing where they'll end up rather than making a decision about what they really want and going for it. By creating a vision board of their life goals, it will help them visualise and imprint these dreams into their minds.
4) List the benefits, obstacles, and resources needed
Now it's time to get serious about the goals and look at what they will need for the journey to ensure they actually achieve these goals. What obstacles are they likely to come across? In anticipating these, they will be much less likely to crumble and fall at the first sign of adversity (because, boy, will obstacles come!). They also need to know what or who they might need support from along the way so they can gather the most appropriate resources to get them to reach their goals. And of course, as with any decisions they make, they need to determine why they want these goals. This "why" is what is going to keep them going when times get rough.
5) Plan of action
Now it's time to knuckle down and plan the route. Your students have to decide exactly how they are going to achieve their goals. It's the "smart" targets bit, if you will (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound). This is where most resources for goal setting begin! Your students need guidance here on how to come up with strategies for what they have to actually do. Again, I have support material for you later on in this post!
6) Set a deadline
In order for your students to keep on schedule and not just forget about these goals once they have been set (…!), they will need regular deadlines for achieving these plans of action.
7) Reflect and review regularly
The 3 Rs! Most teachers who do goal setting with their students forget this crucial step. It's not enough to just set goals and then be done with them until the end of the year when you pull them out again and say "oh yeah, these things!". In order for goals to be achieved, they must always be at the forefront of your students' minds. They need to reflect and review their progress on these goals regularly. They might find that they need to steer course, that their original plan needs altering, maybe their goals need redefining too! It's all a natural part of the process but when the reflection phase is neglected, students are left feeling like failures for not being able to stick to their goals. But not with you by their side! Your students are lucky enough to have such a caring teacher who is taking time out of their day to learn how they can help their students be winners!
You will help your students develop an intrinsic motivation to succeed in your class, and be that inspiring teacher who really makes a difference.
Students will receive a printable journal to record their goal setting journey to keep forever.
The front page of the journal starts your students off with an inspirational quote colouring page cover to relax and inspire them to dream big. It is also littered with inspirational quotes throughout the journal to inspire and motivate along the way too!
The journal contains 21 attractive pages ready to just print. You have the flexibility to have some pages printed numerous times if needed, or you can always omit some if you don't feel they're suitable for your students, for whatever reason.
The journal pages guide students through steps listed above in a neat and orderly fashion, helping promote independence and accuracy while undertaking these activities.
The journal can be bound and used regularly for morning or afternoon meeting activities to keep them focused on their goals at regular intervals throughout the year.
You will also receive a thorough 42 slide PowerPoint to present to your students while teaching them how to use the journal and set goals. This is great because it means there is no prior experience from you required, and no research or prep is needed either as the PowerPoint explains the how and the why clearly to them, which is reiterated in their journal to help remind them of what you taught them as they go through the journal.
It also includes some discussion prompts to get students talking with their peers and reflecting on significance and impact of effective goal setting.
If you're interested in doing this activity with your students and want to cut out 30+ hours of prep time :) then feel free to download the Goal Setting Journal and PowerPoint today and use it for generations to come! You can download it here from TpT or click the link below to download it right from my site (ideal if you're more of a PayPal kinda teacher or prefer the GBP option!)
I wish you and your students a fantastic fresh start, whenever you choose to set goals! (P.S. no one said goal setting is only for January!) Only a truly dedicated and passionate teacher will take the time to teach their students how to set goals effectively to help them live their best life, not just achieve academically for a short time. Your students are lucky to have you!
Download the Goal Setting Journal and PowerPoint here from TpT or here from TRF!