When we think of Goals, they tend to be everywhere. They are present in T-Tess, and in most professions it is considered routine to set goals and work towards them. With all these goals that are present, there seems to be one group that is left out completely from setting their own goals- students.
If we value goals so much- then we should teach, train and motivate our students to set goals too. It can be so very powerful for a student to set goals. For instance one goal can be academic and another goal personal, an example of this can be seen when a first grade student has a personal goal of learning to tie his shoes and an academic goal of increasing his DRA from three to a six. Students can track their own learning and chart their progress, so instead of asking a teacher of what is my grade?, they are able to know that they have mastered 46 of the 50 sight words or their individual quiz grade scores. This is another approach to student owning their learning and being able to speak about it, allowing their voice to be heard.
Goal setting should be present in every classroom. Individual students should have goals, but as a classroom goals should be evident too. The idea of teamwork and community can be fostered through this. Allowing students to set goals for attendance or mastery of a unit can be a great way to work on academic skills through plots, graphs, charts, etc but also allow them to take a vested interest in what happened in that classroom. Recently a Kindergarten team set up goals like this but in relation to the cafeteria. The class can only earn a star if everyone is able to clean up the table,and follow the rules to be respectful, responsible and ready. What has happened is that the kids are now helping each other to clean up and wanting to wipe the tables, they are reminding each other when to be quiet and when they celebrate they do it with their whole hearts. These are skills that we want our students to exhibit so let’s help them start now.
Goals should not just be a top down approach. Goals should be present everywhere.
The supporting standard (Creating a New Vision for Public Education)
II.D. Standards should respect and value students’ “multiple intelligence’s” and talents, and provide opportunities for all students to excel and experience success.