Monday, April 11, 2011

Goal Setting

A recent twitter conversation with my sister-in-law (@mrspow) prompted me to start thinking about goal-setting. I use to work hard at setting goals, though I don't really feel like I understood the purpose of them. In fact, goal-setting was more of a to-do list that anything meaningful for me. In my personal sphere I have stopped setting goals - partially due to disappointment of being unable to meet them (or control the ability to meet them) and partially due to the frustration of not being able to see into the future (both ridiculous, I know). This is obviously something I'm going to have to work through (ah yes - the burden of seeking personal growth).

But for today, i started thinking of setting goals for my professional life - that is, my teaching goals. And so I've created a list. I don't know if it's realistic, or if I will obtain them, but I wanted to put them out there publicly, if only for the sake of my own personal accountability. And I encourage you to do the same. Take all those ideas and beliefs and wishes and wants and desires and start to formulate real tangible goals. Succeeding or failing isn't the conversation. Goals are both powerful and meaningful with or without success. (For more info on goal setting, see here).

Without further ado...


Within One Year
  • Obtain a permanent position in my school district
  • Find 3 extra-curricular needs in the school community (one to meet the need of the students, one to meet the need of the staff, and one to meet my own personal passions)
  • Begin my Masters in Education or (if necessary) Apply to a Masters of Education program to begin the following year
  • Formally or informally mentor a student teacher in my school community
  • Teach all my students how to use twitter for classroom learning
  • Try 3-4 new pieces of technology in the classroom (including Pasco products)
  • Help 3 teachers develop a PLN
  • Get a class website up and running in a way that students will access
Within Five Years
  • Complete my Masters in Education
  • Take on a role of mentoring and responsibility within my department
  • Watch first class of students (from grade 8, 2008) graduate high school
  • Have students responsible for developing assignments (and accompanying grading criteria)
  • Have grade book sorted per PLO
  • Have resources available online for sharing with teaching community at large
  • Blog weekly
  • Have a student teacher
Within Ten Years
  • Remove formal grading from the classroom
  • Take a group of Biology students to Costa Rica
  • Take a group of students on a humanitarian trip in a developing nation


  1. Wow... this is quite the list! I have found with the goals I did not reach is that I did not actually want them bad enough or I wanted them for the wrong reasons (often extrinsic, surface stuff). Finding the powerful reasons within us will help us achieve great things. I love the fact that the central theme to your goals are learning and helping others... sounds like you have picked the perfect profession!

    PS... I hope that formal grading moves into your 5 year plan but this may not be something we can control. Baby steps until we get there!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Chris - thanks for the comment. I would love to put the "removal of formal grading" into the 5 year plan too - but I think it will be longer than that before it will be accepted or allowed. In the meanwhile I plan on getting closer and closer to that goal (as close as I can get).