During the first quarter of this year, the teachers of The Freshman Academy have been working with goal setting. We started by making personal goals that we were open to discussing with the rest of the team.
At our weekly meetings, we would report back to the group on how we were doing. This included the narrative about how life was impacting our goal, what successes or failures we were experiencing, and how the goal was morphing or changing over time. It has been some of the most interesting and personal conversations we have had. It has made us not only teachers but human beings in the struggle to live life, manage our families, and do things that matter.
This past week we spent time talking about what we have learned about goal setting from this eight-week experiment.
We found these things helpful:
Knowing that I am going to be REMINDED about my goal.
REVISITING the goal over multiple weeks.
RECORDING the goal in writing for all to see.
Making a goal that is RELEVANT to my life.
Verbally REFLECTING as a group on our successes and failures.
Seeing the RESULTS of how I’m doing on my goal.
We are hoping to take this experience and convert it into a tool or process that we can use with our freshmen. The idea of equipping students with the experience of making, monitoring, and managing goals would be a significant achievement.
At the beginning of the semester, I thought this goal-setting tool would be for our struggling students, but that has shifted. The goal-setting process may be too much for the student that is trying to get to school or trying to find their homework, let alone do it. The group that could potentially benefit from such practices is our middle third.
What if we targeted this middle third with a community goal-setting experience? This group gets along without much fanfare and yet they are engaged in school.
The goal of The Freshman Academy is to equip all students to be successful in high school. This might be just the experience for a group that deserves a little more of our attention.