Monday, August 10, 2015

Goal Writing

Last year my district went through a goal writing initiative for students.  It started out strong, and then kind of fizzled out.  We were all told what to do at the beginning of the year.  We had to meet with each student individually, and come up with goals for them for the year.  That was pretty much where it ended.  I told kids to try some strategies from a handout I gave them (it later became the "How to Study Mathematics" INB page that you can view here).

Each of my students had two goals.  One was to obtain a score on the NWEA exam that is predetermined by NWEA.  They have no say in the score, I have no say in the score, it is completely based on what the program says.  (Although I have to admit, the goals are not unreasonable.)  The second goal was for the students to decide what they wanted to earn on the Regents exam.  These goals weren't SMART goals at all.  They were just numbers that we wrote down on a special notebook page.  I kept a spreadsheet on these goals, the students' plans to meet their goals, and then forgot about them.

Since it's been summer I've been slowly reflecting on what changes I want to make for next year.  (Because teachers make their New Year's resolutions in August.)  Some of them are the same goals that I had for this past year, but I never followed through.  I considered sharing these goals with my students so that they can help me keep accountable.  Then I reconsidered.  Why stop there?  I can use my goals as examples of what their goals should look like.  I will write my goals as SMART goals, share them with my students, and then have my students write their own SMART goals.

Since I decided that a simple INB page with numbers would not suffice, I made a fold-out page for developing SMART goals and recording them.  On the front of the page, students will record the grades they are striving for and write their SMART goal in words.

 Students will use the inside template to develop their SMART goals.  I adapted a worksheet I found here at the Helpful Counselor to fit the INB format.
You can download an editable version here.  (You will need to download these fonts:  Love Somebody, When Oceans Rise, Counting Stars, Defying Gravity - Unless of course you decide to change them.) 

I changed the cover for the downloadable version since not everyone is teaching Geometry in New York state.  This is how it will appear:
I will be sharing my own SMART goals sometime before the end of summer. 

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