Goal setting is healthy for all of us, and starting the habit of framing, setting, and following through on goals is an excellent habit to encourage in students of all ages. We improve our character by setting goals for ourselves in our educational, professional, and personal lives. Here are some tips for giving students a head start in goal setting for the new school year, and some tips for encouraging follow-through.
Tips for Goal Setting With Students
Setting goals helps your students to think about what they want to achieve this school year. If the thought process doesn’t seem to come very naturally, we have a few tips you can use to get students on the right track.
Tip 1: Ask students to think of someone they admire.
When considering goals they want to achieve, it can be helpful for students to imagine a role model in their life. Have them think of a person they admire and list the traits and/or achievements that makes this person special to them.
Tip 2: Have students reflect on the previous school year.
If students are struggling to think of academic goals, have them ponder some goals they achieved the previous year, even if they weren’t officially set. Previous achievements like reading a certain number of books, or learning a new skill are great inspiration for the new year’s goals.
Tip 3: Help students to think of things they are already good at.
For this goal setting inspiration, you might consider writing common skills or character traits that students have or should strive for on the board. Students might see that they are already good at long division, but might want to instead make a goal to show more kindness to other students. This is a good way to show that the goals don’t all have to be specific to academic achievement.
Tip 4: Explain the accountability process for student goals.
Explain to your students that you will be checking in on the progress of their goals throughout the year. Tell them that at the meetings you will be asking them questions about their specific goals, and consider offering a reward for the class (ex: extra recess, healthy snacks) if the goal check-in meetings go well.
Keep Student Goals Visible All Year
Of course, part of achieving goals is remembering that you made them! Explain to your students that they should have their goals written somewhere for them to remember throughout the year. Whether this means making a note in their locker or desk, or writing it in their student planner, it is an important part of goal setting to ensure that the students are reminded of their personal goals frequently to stay on track.