What are the Golden Rules for Setting Goals in the Classroom?

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Teacher Using Interactive Whiteboard During LessonAt the start of every academic year, we spend time setting goals for our classroom. These then serve as a benchmark for us to evaluate the progress of our students, be it academically or otherwise. But on completion of the year, have you ever felt that your goals were not achieved or that you could have planned them better?

Setting goals instills us with a sense of focus and direction. However, in order to succeed it is important that we know how to set them. For this, we need to have a clear perspective regarding our goals and the steps required to attain them. To help you with the process of setting goals, here are our 7 golden rules.

  1. Student involvement: As the goals are set for the students, it is only fair that they should be involved in the process of goal setting. Student input and feedback can greatly help us with setting realistic goals. It will also stimulate higher rates of goal attainment as students’ engagement in the planning process, increases their commitment towards achieving the goals.
  2. Motivational goals: Set goals that are important and valuable for students. The goals should motivate them to reach their maximum potential and give them a sense of accomplishment when achieved. In addition, our goals should be of the highest priority and instill within the students a sense of urgency and commitment.
  3. SMART goals: The goals we set should be SMART. That means, they should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. Setting such goals instill students with a sense of purpose (specific), direction and focus (relevant), a personal satisfaction of achievement and motivation (attainable), progress and success (measurable and time bound).
  4. Action Plan: An action plan is a route map of all the steps that bring us closer to our goals. As we complete each step, we can cross them off in our plan, documenting our progress towards goal attainment. It also helps us to retrace our steps in case of a mistake or to go back, if we have moved off course. Thus, for every goal planned, it is crucial to chalk out an action plan.
  5. Written Goals: The task of writing down our goals and action plan makes it more real and tangible. It also serves as a visual reminder of our commitment. When wording the goals, use powerful statements that have the ability to positively reinforce students.
  6. Review: Once goals and the action plan have been formulated, review them. The needed additions, deletions or editing can be done before preparing the final print and putting them up in the class.
  7. Persist: Encourage students to follow their goals. You can add in reminders or use visual cues that assist students with the implementation. You can also have a review in between the year, to see if any changes need to be made and thus ensure successful goal attainment.

Discuss here:

How do you help students set goals at the beginning of the academic year?

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