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Choosing Goals for the New School Year

The new school year has begun! While most people celebrate a new year on January 1st, teachers tend to think of the start of a new school year as a new beginning. One of my colleagues shared a picture of her son’s first day back at school and wrote about how she loved this time of year as it was filled with such possibility and potential. Each one of us is capable of something great and as teachers, we cultivate that spirit of possibility and potential in our classrooms.

In the spirit of goal setting, I encourage you to reflect first as a teacher on your goals for yourself. What do you hope to accomplish this year? What do you hope to try? What do you hope to let go? Possibility and potential is not only about doing and being more, it is about letting goal of old habits and attitudes that get in our way and hinder our progress. I created a Padlet wall for those interested in sharing their professional goals for the year, no name required. I find it helps to write down my goal or to make it public in some way to give myself a bit of accountability and ensure I work to reach it. 

Now, translate that goal-setting experience to your students. Many of you might have already asked your students to set personal goals on the first day of the new school year and if not, consider giving it a try. I have compiled a few resources that will inspire your goal setting with students. Here are a few of my favorites:

 Once goals are set, be sure to revisit them often and revise them as students grow and change over the course of the school year. Perhaps the goals get bigger, perhaps they get more focused or even change direction entirely. Half the fun is getting there and the journey is typically more important than the outcome.

I would love to know how you are using goal setting in your own classroom and as literacy coaches. Please share your ideas and goals on our Padlet wall!



  1. Stephanie, thank you for the resources and the inspiration. As I mentioned before, I need to get on the Padlet bandwagon.


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