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Big-Picture Goal Setting for Big Successes

Big-Picture Goal Setting for Big Successes

Now that school is in full swing, turn your focus to your big goals for the school year. Use these tips and Teacher Peach's freebie download to help you set your big goals for the school year.

Set Your Goals

Every class in every school in every year comes with its own special twists and needs. Build your goal-planning process by considering the unique challenges this school year presents. Set or revise your goals after you get to know your students. Set milestone goals for the execution of your plan. This will help you to sketch a visual for the school year.

To achieve cohesive results by the end of the school year, begin with

the end in mind. Start by setting three big goals you want to achieve by the end of the school year. Then, as you plan each month, set milestone targets and interim action steps to achieve each month. Each monthly step should lead you closer to achieving your goals for the entire school year.

Chart Your Progress

Break down each goal into specific, measurable steps and map out your plan on self-stick notes. Jot down your target actions on the notes and put them on a yearlong calendar. Throughout the year, track your progress against your targets. Refine your outlook 
or timeline as needed. If you fall behind, look realistically 
at your situation. Consider updating your
 plan or teaming up with other 
teachers and brainstorming 
together about ways to get
 back on track.

Goal-Setting Steps

Follow these steps when mapping out your goals.

  1. Make a long list of possible goals. Capture every idea you have. Don’t worry about the order. Just capture your thoughts.
  2. Review your list of goals. Cross off anything 
that looks like a task. Tasks are what you’ll do to achieve goals. Here’s a sample goal: By the end 
of the school year, every student will read at one grade level above his or her start-of-year baseline.
  3. Once you have eliminated the tasks from your list, begin to group like ideas together. Chances are, similar or associated ideas will become part of one bigger goal when you group them together.
  4. Edit your list down to three big goals. Three is enough if they are the right goals.
  5. Write your three big goals for the year and put them in multiple locations (in your journal, on your desk, or even on the bathroom mirror).
  6. Write each goal in an abbreviated form onto self-stick notes so you can edit and sequence them as needed.
  7. Big goals are like cakes: you can only eat one slice at a time. Slice your big goals into action steps.
  8. Use more self-stick notes and a different color pen to write each action step required to achieve your big goals. Review your action steps. Is anything missing? Can you combine any steps?
  9. Calendarize your goals and action steps by sequencing your activities for each month. Work backward from the end of the year. Consider the amount of time each action step will take. Be honest and realistic about what you can accomplish.

Add important school calendar dates and milestones to your timeline. Consider all of your obligations when pacing your goals. These might include district testing, professional development training, team meetings, workshops, holidays, and other special events.

If you are integrating CCSS into your goal-setting process, check out the Common Core State Standards Kit for Success by Teacher Peach. This kit comes with a great playbook to take you through the school year. The easy-to-use CCSS Playbook will help you document your progress. Each month has two pages to help you plan, two pages to help you record, and two pages to help you reflect. In addition to the playbook journal, the kit comes with great supplies and tools to use when planning your goals for the year.

Goal setting takes commitment and patience, external setbacks or other surprises are bound to come up. Most of all, remember that yearlong goals take time to achieve.

To help you launch into your goal setting process, we created this free download graphic of a combination goal-setting form and an inspiring quote by Confucious to help you in your commitment to yearlong goals


Keep us posted on how you are doing with your goal-setting work for this school year. Let us know what other products we can create to help you along the way.