With New Year’s Day upon us in just a few hours, I thought about how right now is a great time for teachers to help students write meaningful goals. So many adults make their New Years Resolutions and our students should too! What is important is that students learn how to set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. These are SMART goals.
I once had a student tell me that his goal was to “get all better grades”. Upon conferencing with him, I found out that he wanted to get all A’s. With further discussion and looking at his grades together, we realized that he was far from this goal. He was actually failing math. Together, we came up with a realistic goal to earn at least a 70% in math by the end of the term. We listed out the specific steps he’d need to perform in order to meet that goal and we set dates that we could revisit how he was doing. While he did not get “all A’s” by his next report card, he was passing all his classes and did better in math than he had even anticipated. That is why SMART goals are so valuable. They teach students how to get to where they want to be.
Consider teaching your students how to write SMART goals for this new year. Happy New Year to all!