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January 1, 2017

SMART Goals to Enrich Your Teaching Practices and Your Life

This year, instead of making broad resolutions that are easily broken, consider making SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound objectives that will provide you with a direct path to achieve success. Since SMART goals are targeted with clear deadlines, you will be more likely to stick with them and achieve success.

The SMART goals suggested below can help you have a productive and manageable spring semester. A timeframe is included but consider adjusting these based on your needs.

1. By [date], all my weekly lesson plans will be completed the Thursday before they are due. 

Planning is important when it comes to avoiding stress and unforeseen pitfalls. Still, procrastination is real, especially when it comes to writing lesson plans. Make it a habit to complete your lesson plans one week in advance. By doing this, you can enjoy the last moments of your weekend rather than scrambling to accomplish your planning for the week ahead.

2. By [date], I will arrange my schedule to build in at least one hour of “me” time every day.

“Me” time is important, especially for teachers. When we pack too much into our schedules and don’t leave time to unwind, it can lead to burnout. It’s important to take a break and learn that it is okay to say no. Look at your schedule during the first few months of the year and decide how you can free up time to read a book, watch a show, or pamper yourself each day.

3. By [date], my files will be organized, and I will discard outdated materials.

Many of us keep everything we’ve created, thinking we will use it again. This results in our file cabinets overflowing while we’re unable to find the things we really need. Downsize and organize. If you have multiple copies of handouts, keep only one copy. An even better alternative may be to create digital files. Just be sure to back up what you have saved onto a hard drive!

4. By [date], I will have called/emailed/written to at least six parents for positive reasons.

One of the things that parents complain about is how they seldom hear from the school or teachers unless there is a problem. A phone call about a child performing a kind act or improving on a challenging lesson can be uplifting to a parent. Reaching out to them to highlight the good things their child does also builds a relationship. If the time comes that you need to discuss something negative, you won’t be introducing yourself to the parents with bad news.

5. By [date], I will learn something new about integrating technology into my classroom.

Today’s students are digital natives, and they love to use technology in the classroom. Try something new with technology this month, like incorporating a classroom website that students contribute to or introducing virtual pen pals. See below for a great course about integrating technology into your classroom.

6. By [date], I will sign up for a course that will enhance my teaching.

Every teacher can learn new strategies and techniques to enrich their teaching. All teachers need some inspiration as we roll into new semesters or summer prep. Enroll in an online or in-person course and learn something new or enhance your skills.

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