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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Setting Goals

Teachers are excellent at setting targets for their pupils, we ensure these targets are personal and stretch pupils to achieve their personal best. They also help their pupils to understand the importance of having personal goals, this often comes at the beginning of the academic year and then again at New Year.

Personal goals for primary school children are often linked to things that they would like to do better such as reading, learning times tables, handwriting etc. Older children then begin to set goals such as passing an entrance exam for their next school, getting into a football team ... We help our pupils to understand the difference between short, medium and long term goals and the steps they need to complete to achieve them.

What most teachers are not good at is setting their own goals. They have targets thrust upon them linked to school performance and data. If they are really lucky they are then allowed to select one personal target but again we are encouraged to link this to the schools development plan. But whatever they are they are not really the goals they should all have for their future, not just professional or school development but personal goals to lead them to where they would like to be in their future.

The whole structure of pay scales and Senior Leadership Teams is altering constantly and Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR) points are being phased out all of which leaves teachers with very limited room for professional development if they do not want to go along the traditional deputy/head route. If the leadership route isn't for you it can leave you feeling 'stuck' even the old authority advisory teacher jobs which you could be seconded to in the past are going. So what next? Goal setting!!

As a teacher myself  I looked into the whole deputy/head route and at one point convinced myself it was for me but after just one interview I quickly realised it really wasn't. I love teaching and see that really headteachers are now increasingly administrators managing budgets and juggling finances. That is not for me!

If you haven't set any goals recently at this point you may want to check out Action Jackson on Twitter @Actionjackson he is a motivational speaker and sends out regular tweets to encourage all of us to be motivated and take action! I listened and took action and set myself a short term goal of a blog a day for 365 days! I am doing my best but it is hard, my medium term goal is then to write a book with the subject linked to my experiences of teaching but the fine details not yet decided. I may even write a children's fiction book.

This week for me is half term and it has provided me with that bit of reflection time I do not get during term time and as a result I have had a bit of an epiphany! I truly did not know what I saw as my long term goal but lying in the bath today it came to me....

My personal long term goal is to become a Teaching and Learning consultant! There I have said it and once I set myself a target I will do my best to achieve it. I am absolutely passionate about my job but I know that in order to remain on top of my game I have to have goals, these will keep me motivated and up to date with current educational changes.

So to all of  you teachers out there, go for it, set yourself some personal goals. After all you deserve it!