Back to school means starting fresh with a new group of students and several months of challenges and successes ahead. A great way to get a head start on your list of successes this year is to take some time to practice goal setting. Below are some goal setting tips for teachers looking to make this back to school season the best one yet.
New School Year Goal Setting Tips for Teachers
A new school year doesn’t have to be daunting, especially not if you have a set of solid goals to give you direction. We’ve listed a few ideas for getting your goal setting started, and for keeping yourself accountable to your goals once you’ve set them.
Tip 1: Ask yourself questions to learn what is important to you this year.
What is motivating you to succeed this year? What are you passionate about? What do you enjoy most about your life in school and out? Questions like these can help you to learn about yourself and what kind of goals (character building, achievement-based, or both) you want to set for the year.
Tip 2: Brainstorm potential goals.
With your vision in mind, brainstorm a list of all the things you’d like to accomplish. Don’t leave anything out, as this brainstorming phase is important. Also be sure to include things you did well last year that you want to continue to succeed at this year. Consider goals for: your specific subject, work/life balance, family life, before and after school goals.
Tip 3: Organize, combine and prioritize your goals.
Take the big list you made and highlight the most important ones. Differentiate between easy goals and tough goals that line up with your ideal self you envisioned at the beginning. Set aside goals that don’t move you towards your ideal, as well as goals that are difficult to determine the success of. The best goals are measurable, realistic, and don’t take away from your biggest priorities. For example, you may want to join more committees at school, but your biggest priority is to spend more time at home with your family. Knowing your priorities helps to sort your goals.
Tip 4: Make your goals visible.
Once you’ve made the goals, you’ll want to make sure you are reminded of them often. It’s easy to forget items on a list, and thus complete fewer of them. Try writing your goals in your lesson plan book, your daily schedule planner, or on a note you keep on your desk. Keeping them listed on a whiteboard by your desk is another great way to ensure you are seeing them regularly. Not sure you want to write them all out for the world to see? Give yourself easy to remember keywords to reference each goal and keep the full list somewhere more private.
Tip 5: Plan for Success.
Once you have the goals written out, give yourself measurable due dates and steps to achieving the larger goals. Mark these due dates and steps in your calendar to keep yourself accountable and to check in on your own goals throughout the year. Make sure to keep things realistic. Only you know yourself inside and out, so determine the steps to meet your goals based on what you know you can handle. No matter what the outcome, doing your best to meet your goals is a great way to start a new school year.