Setting & Achieving Your Back To School Goals

When you’re a teacher you have the good fortune to always have room for improvement. There’s always new teaching strategies to try, lessons to plan, and products to test out. Back to school is just around the corner, and it’s time to think about your classroom and set your goals for the 2018-2019 school year.

Setting teaching goals can seem overwhelming, but the key is to not take on too many new tasks during a single school year. And today, we’re going to help you find what goals you should be focusing on.

Envision Your Perfect Classroom

Before you start creating goals you need to take a look at the bigger picture. Dream big and think about exactly what you want your classroom to be like. Don’t let yourself be limited by budget or administration hurtles – this is just an exercise.

Write down all the features of your ideal classroom. Do you rely more on technology, or traditional teaching materials? What is your teaching style and how does your classroom reflect that? Do you focus on written examinations or projects?

Setting your goals for the 2018-2019 school year will help you take a step in the right direction of that ideal classroom.

Determine Your Needs

Now it’s time to do some self-reflection to figure out what the needs of your classroom are. Use these 10 questions to think about what worked and what didn’t last year.

Compare the notes on your self-reflection to your ideal classroom. Where are the discrepancies? What aspects of your ideal classroom aren’t currently possible, and for what reason?

Maybe you’d like to incorporate more technology into your classroom but realize you haven’t. After thinking about why, you realize it is due to budget. Make a list and keep it handy for the rest of this post.

Set Goals That Will Lead You To Solutions So You Can Achieve Your Ideal Classroom

Now it’s time to neatly write out the goals you have to make your dream classroom a reality. Be as specific as you can.

For example, you want to incorporate more technology but are limited by budget. Instead of having the vague goal of “incorporating technology”, set a specific goal that addresses your desires and your constraints. Your goal may instead look something like this:

Incorporate technology into my classroom by utilizing free tools.

By adding specific actions to your goals, you are given something concrete that you can work toward, which will make it easier to stick to your goals in the long run.

Organize & Prioritize

You should now have a large list of goals and the actions you can take to meet these goals. From here, it’s time to get organized and choose which goals you want to pursue over the 2018-2019 school year.

Organize your goals in a way that makes sense to you. As you do this, rank each of the goals on their level of difficulty to complete. Now you have a list of organized goals with the difficulty associated with them all in one place.

From here you have to start prioritizing. Goals that you’ve ranked as easy you should add to your 2018-2019 goal list. When it comes to taking on goals that are more difficult to accomplish, take a hard look at them and determine if they are worth your time and energy. Any goals that don’t make the cut can be worked on during the next school year.

Finally, rank the goals that made the cut in order of importance. With a new school year starting you probably won’t have the time to work on every goal at once. Instead, focus on tackling each goal in order of importance.

Get Specific

Now that you have a prioritized list of goals along with their level of difficulty and specific solutions, it’s time to make them ever more specific.

By making your goals even more specific, you are holding yourself accountable for following through. A good goal is measurable, realistic, and time sensitive. You already know your goal is realistic, so now focus on the other two parts of the equation.

Let’s revisit this goal: “Incorporate technology into my classroom by utilizing free tools”.

Ask yourself how you will measure this goal and what your deadline for completing it will be. When you’re done it will look something like this:

Goal: Incorporate technology into my classroom by utilizing free tools.
New online tools are being utilized by me and students in class and at home.
Introduce 1 new tool by the end of September.

Make A Plan

You’re almost done! You have your goals, you have all your specifics, and you have deadlines. All that’s left to do is create a plan to start pursuing these goals.

You don’t want to overwhelm yourself, so take a look at your schedule to determine when each of these goals should be pursued. For some of your goals, it may make sense to break those goals down into specific steps to help you stay on track. For Example:

Goal: Incorporate technology into my classroom by utilizing free tools.

Step 1: Research free online tools for educators.
Step 2: Read reviews and gather feedback from educators on the tool of choice.
Step 3: Test the tool myself to ensure it works the way I want it to.
Step 4: Decide what lesson to introduce this tool in.
Step 5: Use tool with students.
Step 6: Gather student feedback.

It’s easy to forgo your goals during the school year because you get so busy. By creating a plan for your goals, along with a rough idea of when in the school year you want to pursue your goals, you are more likely to stay on track.

That’s It!

It may seem like a lot, but completing all these steps will help you to set realistic goals that you can accomplish during the 2018-2019 school year.

Let Us Help You With Your Back To School Goals!

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