Monitoring Goals

September 19, 2011

Monitoring Goals Set for Ourselves

goalsHow many can say that they remember a goal they set for themselves two years ago?  You may recall a long-term goal like wanting to graduate and attend college, but those little "short-term" goals are what gradually make us into productive citizens.  A lot of times those small ones are over looked and adults and kids alike forget all the small steps they need, or have taken, to meet their big goals.  In homeroom we each individually write down at least 2 short-term goals that we want to accomplish in a few weeks, and then at least 2 long-term goals.  We date these goals so that we can look back and reflect on what we have, or possibly have not done to meet them.  About 4-5 times a year I have each student in my homeroom take a look at his or her goals.  If they feel they have met those goals, or those goals are no longer important to them, they are allowed to cross them out and come up with new ones.  Again they put the date next to the new goals.  As they are looking them over I talk to them individually about why they may have chosen those goals.  It is amazing to see some kid's eyes light up when they realize all that they have met in those 3 months are so. 

This year marks my 3rd straight year of being with some of the LMS 8th graders in my homeroom.  During the first week of school, we did the goal sheets (I keep them in my homeroom folder until they leave for high school) and my few 8th graders laughed at some of the goals they wrote for themselves in 6th grade.  One female 8th grade student asked me, "Why would I set a goal like that when it's something so easy, I was weird in 6th grade!"  I laughed with her, but then we had a class discussion about how at one time those simple things like "Meeting our AR goal" or "Not being tardy" were goal2obviously hard for us, otherwise we wouldn't have wrote them.  It is important that we know our short-term goals, otherwise she very well may be an 8th grader that is still late to class because she can't open her locker on the first try (okay that is being a bit dramatic, but with some cases it is true)!  It's important that kids and adults alike are aware of the short-term goals they need to accomplish to be where they want to be in the long run.  I shared with the class that I found my first grade book that was titled "What I want to be when I Grow-Up."  On it I had written, "I want to work at McDonalds so that I can eat free French fries whenever I want to."  Then there was a drawing below it, me a stick person holding a large French-fry (that was bigger than my body).  The students giggled with me at this bizarre picture, but I did work there in high school and it did teach me time-management, responsibility, money management, etc.  It really did help me prepare for my life as an adult and to be a productive citizen.  So needless to say, that long-term goal of mine was silly to me at this time, but at that time in my life it was what I wanted.  It is all right to change if it just isn't working out, but just to make sure that your working your way to something to better yourself and makes you happy!