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Melbourne, VIC, Australia
2nd Grade Teacher at a school in Melbourne, Australia. My job: push kids to think. My passion: helping kids to tackle the life-long skill of searching for meaning, skills, answers and more questions.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

SMART goals - a conundrum...

Inspired by the thinking of
Using Sticky-Note Goals on Student Wall for Short Term Goals

What happens when a student sets a SMART goal and then achieves it?

 Soon, my kids will set SMART goals for our first Unit of Inquiry.   
They will know the Trans disciplinary Skills we will be working on explicitly.
They will know the Key Concepts we will be focusing on.
They will know their own strengths and limitations.
They will be coached in the skills of goal setting and planning for success.

These kids are more likely than any I've ever taught before to... actually achieve their goals.

I can put a mark on their goal sheet...
They can write about it in a journal...
We could celebrate the achievement at home and in class...
Letter home...
Letter to school (if achieved at home)...

All this thinking got me digging deeper into what a kid might really want when she/he achieves a particular goal...
I think the kids will want simple, honest, personal and quiet recognition.  One on One.
Most kids don't want a sideshow or a brass band when it comes to personal achievements - particularly if the goal, plan and achievement was all self-directed and self-motivated.
Perhaps a pat on the back or a stamp in the diary for the kinasthetic or visual learner....

The next step must surely be new goals?

I'm not so sure about this.  What about maintaining focus for the full time frame on mastery?
I think we need to acknowledge when a target has been met, but then use the remaining time to master that skill.  At the end of our 6 weeks, we can reflect on ourselves as a learner in terms of 'how well' or 'how fully' or 'how thoroughly' we achieved our goals.

Not just a sticker that says, ACHIEVED.
This could become a powerful conversation about the goal itself.  A lesson in SMART goals and whether we set the first bar high enough - or too high. 

A goal is for life - not just for Christmas.

When the time has come to set new goals, what happens to the 'old' goals?
Are these left in the backyard to pace around hoping for the day you remember them and take them for a walk?  We need to remember them and recall the journey.  We need to make them memorable.  Most importantly, we need to make sure that we continue mastering the goals that touched our sense of self.    Not every goal will light a fire of enthusiasm in our hearts.  We need to really nurture the ones that DO achieve that sense of self, purpose, pride, enthusiasm, motivation or joy.

I need to get some breakfast now.....   I'll post this and see if the universe wants to add its 2c while I'm sourcing a healthy muesli with seasonal fruits.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blog and ideas, thank you!!