Setting Goals for a New School Year

Another school year is rapidly approaching and it’s time to start thinking about goals. Goals are so vital to success in life. They keep us focused, motivated, and determined. Without them, we can quickly lose sight of our purpose or mission. Not only have I created a set of goals for this school year, I have created a personal mission statement for this school year. All of my goals are related to this mission: become the best teacher I can be.

I set my goals and mission statement shortly after reading Dave Burgess’s book on student engagement, Teach Like a Pirate. While reading this book, I realized that my students do not deserve a mediocre teacher, and I will not accept being labeled “mediocre.” I want to begreat…awesome…the best.Well, that sounds spectacular and all, but how am I going to achieve this? By setting goals!

GOAL #1: Respect. I am going into this school year with two simple rules for my students. The first and most important is, as you’ve guessed it, respect. Respect is a powerful word. I find it amazing that we are all born the natural ability to respect people, animals, objects, nature, truth, and ourselves as human beings! The choice to act respectfully can take a person so far in life – in so many ways – and it is important that we, teachers, share this with our students. Therefore, I am setting this goal for myself, to be the ultimate model of respect to everyone I encounter, so that my students can witness the significance of this moral choice.

GOAL #2: Seek student feedback and use it. Many stores, websites, and restaurants I shop at these days are asking for feedback. I usually see a 1-800-number or website at the bottom of my receipt seeking my approval and suggestions to improve their customer service. While teaching does not fall under the service industry category, we should act like it does! After all, I’m trying to sell a product, too: knowledge! I plan to constantly seek my students’ feedback in regards to their learning, their level of buy-in, and their feelings of success in my classroom. In Teach Like a Pirate, Burgess encourages us to seek feedback from our students. He poses this self-reflection question in his book: “If your students didn’t have to be there, would you be teaching in an empty room?” The feedback I receive from my students should help me answer this question and hopefully that answer will be, “No, my students are engaged and love to learn in my class!” And if my answer is anything other than that one, I know I need to readjust something.

Goal #3: Stay connected. I joined Twitter 14 months ago. It was one of the best moves I ever made regarding my career. Now that I am going back into the classroom, I have a fear that I “won’t have time” to keep up with my PLN on Twitter or their blogs. Well, I have set this goal so that doesn’t happen. In addition to that, I also plan to blog more. Ideally, I’d like to blog at least once a month. That being said, I hope to write more than that and share all of my experiences with my audience.

Goal #4: READ!!! I have a passion for books: YA literature, children’s books, chick lit, historical fiction, math books….the list keeps going. Like many teachers, however, I have less and less time to read during the school year. I want to set a goal to keep reading, to keep learning, and share the books I read with my students (when appropriate).

Goal #5: Be grateful. Never, ever do I want to forget the fact that I am extremely fortunate for all the blessings in my life. From my family and health to my amazing career, I feel like I have hit the jackpot everyday when I wake up. May I always remain humble and show gratitude for everything I have, including the opportunity to teach students to do the same.

So, now that I have shared my goals, I want to know what are some of your goals or mission statements for this year!? Please comment below with some of your ideas for this upcoming year!

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