By- Angela Padrón 

At the start of every school year, teachers often ask students to set goals for themselves. How many books will they read? How high can they score on a given assessment? But it’s important for teachers to also set goals for themselves, both professionally and personally.

Here is a list of five goals teachers can set and monitor throughout the upcoming school year.

  1. Improve classroom management – Even the most experienced teachers have to rethink their classroom management techniques and methods in order to have the most effective and orderly classroom. Why? Because every school year students are different— different personalities, different learning styles, different abilities. Teachers should have a basic idea in mind, but be flexible and willing to adjust or completely change their system if needed.
  2. Maximize student engagement – Children today have shorter attention spans due to distractions with technology. For that reason, teachers have to constantly create lessons that are engaging in order to keep students interested and focused on the content. Teachers can set a goal to collaborate with other teachers to get ideas or take a workshop or two on instructional strategies in active learning.
  3. Manage time better – Being organized is a key characteristic that teachers need to develop. There is a lot of paperwork to keep up with, as well time requirements for teaching a certain number of minutes per subject. In addition, teachers have to reserve time to grade papers, conference with parents, and provide feedback to students. Not to mention find time for themselves! Developing a time management plan before the school year begins will help with juggling all of these tasks!
  4. Take less work home – Every teacher must think at some point, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have an empty bag when I leave school every day?” Figuring out how to get papers graded by the end of the day or week will help reduce the number of instances that a teacher brings papers home. Grading and entering grades as soon as possible after an assessment is administered will also help give feedback to students sooner so they have time to make adjustments before the next assessment.
  5. Be more open to feedback – Just as students should receive feedback so they can improve their skills, teachers should be open to receiving feedback from administration as well as students and parents. All teachers, no matter how experienced they are, have some room for improvement. Being open-minded, willing to accept constructive criticism, and having the flexibility to make changes will help any teacher become an even more masterful educator.

There are many more goals teachers can set for themselves—, but no matter which ones are chosen, it’s important to remember a few things: every goal should be SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and timely) and revisited every year. This will help make the teacher an even better educator— and a better person over all!

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