This post is about goal-setting for teachers.

Goal-setting for teachers involves creating professional, instruction-based objectives in areas where one needs improvement. The power of these goals lies in the actionable steps followed in order to achieve them.

Every school year, educators write professional goals.

If you’re one of those teachers who is always scratching her brain thinking…

“What do I want to improve upon?”

“Where do I even start”?

Then this post is for you.

It gives ideas that are not only going to help you do something outside-of-the-box but also challenge you.

These are not your everyday, blasé teaching goals that require little transformation.

What I share are creative goal-setting ideas for teachers like yourself that will spice up your instruction.

Impress your principal, your colleagues, and most importantly, yourself!

If you’re ready to do something different and take your teaching to the next level, then this post is definitely for you.

Goal-Setting for Teachers

Each goal-setting idea includes a S.M.A.R.T goal that you can snag for your own teacher goal sheet:

S: Specific

M: Measurable

A: Attainable

R: Realistic

T: Time Bound

Share this post with your colleagues and teaching team if you think they’d benefit.

Let’s dig into it!

Parent Communication

As you know, it’s incredibly important to establish positive relationships with the parents of your students.

And it’s essential to do so from the beginning of the school year.

Building and nurturing those parent relationships don’t have to be difficult, but it does require strategic effort.

Find ways to set the bar, and be the first to initiate.

Some parents may be afraid or intimidated to reach out at first due to less-than-pleasant experiences with their child’s school in the past.

So make this the year that you build positive parent communication.

Let them know that your door is always open and that you’re receptive to their ideas and opinions, even if you may not always agree.

Involve them in your classroom community throughout the year.

Reading Week, volunteer opportunities, and class projects are great ways to get parents active.

Establishing positive parent relationships will make your year easier.

Snag the S.M.A.R.T Goal: In the 2nd and 4th quarters of the school year, for each major holiday, I will invite at least 2 parent volunteers to the class to assist students with holiday crafts and activities.

ESL Strategies

As the population of second-language learners continues to grow, the need for educators who are able to strategically integrate English-as-a-Second Language instructional techniques will become even more vital.

Even if you don’t consider yourself an ESL teacher or have an “ESL classroom”, having even one student in your classroom with second language needs is enough for you to learn at least a few ESL strategies to put in your teaching toolkit.

On the surface, teaching second-language learner objectives may not seem too difficult, but you know, it’s a whole different ballgame as the kids have two (and sometimes three!) different languages being processed in their brains.

Implementing activities and lessons that address their unique learning goals will actually benefit all of your learners.

Participate in ESL professional development workshops as much as possible or better yet, obtain ESL teaching certification.

This is a popular teacher professional goal in many school districts at the moment, and it’s not too overwhelming to begin.

Snag the S.M.A.R.T Goal: For the 2019-2020 school year, I will participate in 15 hours of ESL professional development.

Readers’ Theater Scripts

Readers’ theater scripts aren’t just for school holiday events.

They’re actually a present from the heavens! 😇

Some teachers think they’re too much work and don’t want to be bothered with them, but please, don’t think this way.

Easily integrate these scripts into any subject area, and watch your kids learn while having fun.

Kids love readers’ theater scripts!

Readers’ theater scripts improve reading comprehension, fluency, and accuracy.

So if you’re wanting to spice up your literacy block, try these short, entertaining plays.

Need more convincing or want to know readers’ theaters full benefits? Take a look here.

Snag the S.M.A.R.T Goal: Each quarter, all students will present one reader’s theater that aligns with a learning objective in math, science, or social studies.

Virtual Or Stationary Field Trips

Goal-setting for teachers isn’t always just traditional school stuff.

Take field trips for instance.

You may not always be able to take your kiddos on a field trip, so why not bring relevant and engaging “field trips” to them?

Not only are they easier to arrange but also kinder on the school budget.

A Spanish teacher at my previous school had food trucks visit so kids could experience foods from different Latin-American cultures.

Another grade level had a representative from a local oil factory teach the kids about proper disposal of grease and oil in every-day life situations.

The activities and projects were so engaging and fun for the kids, plus they learned so much!

If this sounds a bit much, virtual field trips are a fantastic option.

Technology is an incredible thing, and with it, you can take kids on adventures to places all around the world!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Snag the S.M.A.R.T Goal: For the 2019-2020 school year, students will partake in two virtual field trips related to our human body science unit and natural resources social studies unit.

Fundraisers

When I work on goal-setting for teachers, I absolutely LOVE to integrate ideas related to financial literacy.

Fundraisers do that plus more!

One year when I was teaching second grade, a social studies learning objective consisted of teaching kids about empathy towards others.

In my quest to make the objective really stick, my team and I decided to incorporate fundraisers.

The kids showed great empathy towards all of the stray and unwanted animals roaming the streets in their local community.

They voted to raise money to a local rescue animal shelter, and boy were they passionate about this!

After brainstorming ways to raise money, they decided on selling candy grams.

Parents and local companies donated the candy.

During tech class, the kids printed simple cards with a message about the cause and attached each to a candy.

Then, they advertised and marketed their candy grams to the other grade levels over a period of five weeks.

In the 6th week, they delivered (with the help of parent volunteers!) all the candy grams that had been ordered.

Can you believed they raised over $500?!

The kids were on cloud nine!!!!

And the kids personally donating that money to the rescue shelter was an amazing event.

The look on their faces – you could almost feel their pride and joy.

What a way to teach empathy while having such a positive impact!

An an educator, do you think you’d like to add an activity such as one to your goal-setting sheet?

Snag the S.M.A.R.T Goal: For the 2019-2020 school year, the third grade students will choose a local, curriculum-aligned charity to support by raising at least $100.

Financial Literacy

Speaking of fundraisers, let’s flow right into financial literacy.

You know, I don’t think it’s by accident that financial literacy really isn’t incorporated into our school’s curriculum.

But that’s a topic for another post! 😛

Kids need to learn about money.

Heck, even us adults need a Money 101 class.

Incorporating elements of financial literacy into your curriculum doesn’t have to be anything formal.

There are plenty of teachable moments during social studies and math lessons, but really, anytime is a good time because money is at the core of just about everything we do!

And the best part is…

Financial literacy is a lifelong skill that students will carry with them well beyond the four walls of the classroom.

They’ll use those skills throughout their lives.

So consider finding ways to integrate financial literacy into your curriculum, even if it’s once every semester.

Snag the S.M.A.R.T Goal: During the math money unit, students will participate in two project-based learning financial literacy activities that relate to the overall learning objectives.

Career Goal-Setting for Teachers

Goal-setting for teachers isn’t complete without thinking about yourself!

I get it.

You focus almost all of your time and energy on the kids because, well, that’s the job, right?

But what about you?

Aside from your teaching, what else would you like to do within your teaching career?

Are you wanting to become a principal or a math/reading specialist?

Itching to take your teaching career abroad?

What about being an educational consultant?

Maybe you want to get a Master’s degree or an additional teacher certification.

Or is it that you want to stay in the classroom for the next 10 to 15 years but explore teaching another grade level?

Whatever it is that you want to do, the most important thing is to think about YOU.

Include a teacher goal that is going to help you grow professionally and personally.

Snag the S.M.A.R.T Goal: Within the next 2 years, I’d like to get my Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction so that I am one step closer to becoming a Reading Specialist within the next 5 years.

Streamlined Systems

As an educator, the key elements that really keep me working smarter not harder are my classroom systems.

I am a big believer in organization!

Establishing classroom management and paper flow systems at the beginning of the school year serve as the foundation to an “automated” workday.

For some folks, organization is natural.

For others, well, they need a little help creating those systems.

If you’re one of those people who believe that your work-life and your classroom management would be so much better with consistent systems in place, challenge yourself to tackle those areas.

Be sure to include some type of “systems” work on your teacher goal-setting sheet, and then make a vow to work on it throughout the school year.

Here’s a piece of advice though…

Please don’t overwhelm yourself and do it all at once.

Focus on one system at a time.

Streamline paperwork, grading, classroom management, or student helpers, etc.

Concentrating on one thing at a time keeps you sane.

And I’ll promise you this…

Once you’ve streamlined your systems, you’ll find that your teaching life runs so much smoother!

So make your work life easier.

Snag the S.M.A.R.T Goal: For the 2019-2020 school year, every two weeks I’ll find one more way to implement another organizational technique to tame the constant paper flow of student work.

Travel PD

During the summers, some teachers just want to stay home, relax, and disconnect.

I feel ‘ya!

Others want to get out and do something different, even if it’s related to school.

Are you one of those with school always on the brain?

Don’t worry; I ‘ain’t judging! 😜

If you do have school constantly on the brain, I’ve got a little special professional development (PD) info. for you.

Get paid to travel and participate in PD with the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Programs for teachers.

National Endowment for the Humanities

They pay you for doing professional development, and what’s more, it’s a travel opportunity!

Yes in deed!

This is a great opportunity to network with other educators, and you know, it’s just a really cool experience.

Though some of the topics offered are not as relevant to elementary teachers, if you’re a person with wide interests, you should find something to tickle your fanny.

Grab this opportunity fast, and take your goal-setting to another level!

Snag the S.M.A.R.T Goal: For the summer of 2020, I will participate in a summer workshop at the National Endowment for the Humanities focusing on a topic that relates to material from one of the 4th grade social studies units.

Project-Based Learning

What’s not to love about project-based learning?

It’s essentially a fancy way of having kids apply skills and strategies to a real life situation.

The cool thing about project-based learning is that you get to see how well your learners are actually grasping the concepts that you’ve been teaching them.

Project-based learning also spices up your instruction!

For example, if you’re doing a unit on Black History Month, you could have the kids put on a black history wax museum where they can apply all the information that they’ve been learning about.

As another example, if you’re studying geometry, why not have students design a map using various symbols to explain to someone how to get from point A to point B?

Solving real-world problems is powerful!

Don’t you just love seeing your kiddos put into action those skills and strategies that you’ve taught them?

Snag the S.M.A.R.T Goal: For each math unit covered during the school year, students will complete one project-based learning activity related to the primary math learning objectives from that respective unit.

Conclusion: Goal-Setting for Teachers

As an educator, there are so many options for growing professionally.

Goal-setting for teachers is very personal, as we’re all unique and have different needs.

Choose your goals based on your weaknesses, interests, and where you are at-the-moment in your teaching career.

Reflect, and think deeply about what is it that you really want and need.

It’s time to bring your teaching and career to the next level!

Eliminate the noise around you and what everybody else is doing or thinks you should be doing.

Once you do that, you’ll find that opportunities abound.

To goal-setting smarter,

Talk soon!

~Missi

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