Goal Setting For Student Success

Back to school is the perfect opportunity to set goals. This fresh start is an excellent motivator to improve ourselves, our society and our knowledge.

It is especially important for students to set goals that apply to their learning to help build social emotional learning skills. Encouraging students to set goals and work toward them helps achieve a specific, self-regulated behavioral goal.

Ready to start setting goals with your students? Read on for great tips on how to encourage your students to dream big and stay on track.

How to start setting goals with students

Picasso didn’t wake up one day and decide he was going to be a famous painter. A lot of discovery and internal investigation was necessary for him to define his long-term goals.

Discovery is a great first step for students to look inward and decide what makes them happy, excited, and motivated. Here are some discovery questions you can ask your students to get them thinking about what makes them great:

  • What three words would you describe yourself as?
  • How would your best friend describe you?
  • What are you most nervous about?
  • What are you most sure of?

Now is the time to start thinking about the future! Before you begin defining your goals, students should think about where they want to be a year down the road. Here are some questions you can ask your students to start thinking about how they want to develop themselves:

  • What are you most interested in learning more about?
  • What are you most excited about?
  • What skills do you want to develop?
  • What do you want to get better at?

How to develop SMART goals

SMART goals are used to help students, teachers, and adults alike set goals that they are likely to achieve. The concept of SMART goals is not actually tied to us at SMART Technologies, but stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. A SMART goal incorporates criteria to help focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving your goal.

When setting goals with students, goals can consist of effort management, personal goals and professional goals.

Specific

What do you want to achieve and how will you get there? What does “working well with others” look like?

“I want to be on the basketball team.”

Measurable

How will we measure your performance? Can we look back at the end of the year and say that you have achieved this goal? How do we make sure at the end of the year that you achieved this goal?

“I want to try to make the basketball team.”

Obtainable

Do you have the necessary skills and resources to achieve this goal in a specific time?

“I want to practice basketball for 30 minutes every day after school so I can try out and make the basketball team.”

Relevant

How does the goal align with your skill development and targeted progress? Does this goal relate to effort management, persona or academics?

“To become a better athlete, I will practice basketball for 30 minutes every day after school so that I can try and make the basketball team.”

Timed

What is the time frame for achieving the goal?

“To become a better athlete, I will practice basketball for 30 minutes every day after school so that I can try out and make the basketball team by October 2023.”

How to follow your goals

Now you have a great SMART goal, time to start working towards it. Develop a cadence that works for you and your students to check in with your goals, evaluate your progress, and see if your goals need updating.

Checking in on your goals is important to assess how far you’ve come. It can be both a celebration of the work you’ve put in to date and an opportunity to decide what needs to happen next to stay on track.

We’ve created a FREE Lumio lesson to help jump start your goal setting sessions. Save it to your library and customize it to fit your class.

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Goal setting lesson in Lumio

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