Goal Setting for the New Year

I was watching TED talks, looking for texts to support a Habits of Mind unit, and I came across a Tony Robbins talk entitled “Why We Do What We Do.”  I watched it.  I took some notes.  I thought about my lesson and tried to connect some of the talk to the Habits, and I couldn’t.  I kept going back to the transcript because I wanted to make it work.

Then, I realized that the talk wasn’t speaking to me as a unit-planner, but as a teacher—not as a teacher of students, but as a teacher among teachers, and, unlike Robbins’s statement, I’m hearing it in the form of a question:  Why Do We Do What We Do?

I have been thinking about that a lot lately, because I’m in the middle of my fifth year as a literacy coach, and I’ve learned I have about a five-year attention span when it comes to my work.  It’s also been a tough year at my school—lots of change.  Not to mention that the last few years have just been tough on all educators—testing and the evaluation system have pushed many of us to the brink.

Robbins talks about the human tendency to blame our failures on resources:  we don’t have enough time/money/technology.  Doesn’t this sound like the excuses we hear every day at the copy machine?   He says the solution is in our resourcefulness.  If we get creative and are determined to achieve something, our passion and resolve will get us there.

I’ve seen a lot of New Year’s resolution-type posts on Facebook and I’ve ordered myself a New Year’s present – a book on organizing/decluttering (more on that in an upcoming blog post!).  I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I do think it is a convenient time for reflection and goal setting. I also know that a goal not written is only a wish, right?

I’m not going to bore you with my own goals here—I’ve read conflicting research about how sharing your goals/resolutions can either help or impede your achievement of those goals—but I am going to set some professional goals for the New Year and I encourage you to do the same.  Let’s take some time to think about what we do, why we do it, and how we can do it better next year!

One thought on “Goal Setting for the New Year

  1. One of my biggest goals is to declutter this year. Not only files, but the many ideas that overload my mind and take up the time I truly need to plan. Determining not only what’s important for the students to learn this semester (end goals), but how to best guide them through and how much class time to spend on each lesson tend to over complicate my planning. Especially when considering class readings over homework, with students who seldom do their homework, how can we pace the class time more efficiently, engagingly, and effectively?

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