Skip to main content

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!

Stephanie

Comments

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

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Instructional Coaching Toolkit!

I have a thing for notebooks. And colorful markers. And sticky notes. I use them in all aspects of my literacy teaching and coaching. During coaching conversations, I often find myself providing on-the-spot demonstrations with these tools. I might engage teachers in a brief lesson on phonemic awareness and ask them to sort sounds. I might walk teachers through word building activities so they experience a new way of engaging students. I might introduce books to teachers to model how they might do the same for their students. I might even create game boards on sticky notes as visuals for teachers to support instructional planning. These demonstrations and notes act as instant and tangible tools to further teacher learning.
Over the years, I’ve compiled these artifacts to create coaching toolkits for the teachers I work with. My toolkit for ‘word work’ might include a picture of an anchor chart created with students, a list of words appropriate to the alphabetic feature students are wor…

Focus on Coaching Cycles

At this point in the school year, many of us are deep into our classroom coaching and engaging in coaching cycles with teachers. Just as coaching can look unique from building to building, our coaching cycles are often unique to our coaching context, our purpose for partnering and the goals and needs of each individual teacher: 1:1 coaching cycles, small group coaching cycles, student-centered coaching cycles and more. Each cycle typically has a pre-coaching conversation, classroom coaching/co-teaching/observation and then follow-up conversations as well.You can find theforms and templates I tend to use for classroom coaching here.
For me, my coaching cycles right now are in the context of my graduate education courses. Each week, I engage in a single coaching cycle with each of my students: lesson planning, observing lessons and coaching conversations. We repeat this for ten weeks of the course and the focus of our cycles shift and change over time. We also meet for small-group coac…

Leading By Learning

This summer, I vowed to be intentional in how I spent my time so that when the new school year arrived, I would feel refreshed and renewed. Admittedly, the summer seemed to fly by, but I did carve out time for my own professional learning. I read every day, I wrote in my notebook (almost) daily, tried my hand at gardening, spent time with my kids and just tried to get better at being me. Some days, I killed it. And other days, well….you know. So, as I head into another school year, I know that I need to be incredibly intentional in how I spend my time and ensure that I focus on my own learning as an educator. It is this learning that fuels my work: it lifts my reading spirits, fuels my writing heart and reminds me that leading the learning of others requires that I remain a continual learner myself.
It is this core belief that drives my teaching, coaching and leading this year. I am even more committed to my own professional learning to fuel my work and lead by example. I have purpose…