Teachers have a huge role in society. They shape the building blocks of the future by teaching students not just the subject but also life lessons, discipline, and many other core values.
But teachers need to grow to do their job better and scale in their careers. And if you are a teacher, you know, you need to set an intention to get something done.
Setting SMART goals for teachers is a great way to improve performance at school or work. But setting too many goals can be overwhelming. How do you know which ones to focus on?
Goal setting is a common practice in schools and workplaces. The idea is simple: set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
Teachers should also set SMART goals for their students. But first, they should also set SMART goals for themselves. This helps them achieve better results and stay motivated.
Here’s everything you need to know to set SMART goals as a teacher:
- What Are SMART Goals?
- What Are The Advantages of Setting SMART goals For Teachers?
- 25 SMART Goals For Teachers
- Quick SMART Goals Examples
- What Other Goals & Qualities Teachers Should Strive For?
- You need empathy
What Are SMART Goals?
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. They help you set clear objectives for yourself and keep you focused on what needs to be done. The SMART goal format is shown below:
Specific – Be more specific about your objective. This means stating exactly what you want to accomplish.
Measurable – Define how you will measure success. How can you tell if you have achieved your goal?
Attainable – Make it possible to achieve your goal. Is it too difficult? Can you realistically reach your goal?
Realistic – Don’t expect perfection. You must strive to meet reasonable expectations.
Time-bound – Set deadlines for when you need to achieve your goal.
When you create SMART goals, you focus on the most important aspects of achieving your educational goals.
In addition to setting SMART goals, you should also monitor your progress toward reaching those goals.
What Are The Advantages of Setting SMART goals For Teachers?
Setting your goals is an important step in achieving them. The more specific you can be with your goals, the easier it will be to achieve them.
If you have a goal like “I want to lose weight” then how do you know whether you have met that goal? Do you weigh yourself daily? Do you count calories? These types of vague goals don’t give you much information so it’s hard to determine whether you’re successful or not.
Setting SMART goals helps you define your educational goals clearly
Let’s take an example, “I want all my students to understand the importance of using technology in the classroom” is a very broad statement.
It doesn’t provide much information about what you want to accomplish with this goal. By defining your goal more specifically, you can better judge whether you have reached your goal.
Setting SMART goals allows you to track your progress towards your goals
When you write down your goals, you can easily identify which ones you have already accomplished and which ones you still need to work on.
Monitoring your progress gives you feedback on how well you are doing. If you find that you aren’t making any progress toward your goals, you can adjust your plan accordingly.
Setting SMART Goals Helps You Stay Focused
One reason why people fail at their goals is that they get distracted from their original intentions.
If you set your goals too broadly, you might end up accomplishing something else instead of focusing on your intended purpose.
If you keep your goals too narrow, you won’t be able to complete them. In order to stay focused on your goals, you need to make sure that they are SMART.
Setting SMART Goals Helps Keep You Motivated
If you set your goal too high, you may become discouraged if you don’t reach it right away. On the other hand, if you set your goal too low, you might never even try.
If you set your SMART goal too high, you’ll probably be disappointed when you realize that you haven’t achieved it yet.
However, if you set your SMART goals too low, you may never even start trying. So, choose your goals carefully. Make sure that they stand true to the parameters of SMART
Setting SMART Goal Helps You Be More Successful
If you set your long-term goals too high, you may not be able to meet them. If you set your short-term goals too low, you could miss out on opportunities to learn new things.
If you set your intermediate goals just right, you should be able to meet them without difficulty.
And finally, if you set your immediate goals too high, you could run into problems. But if you set your immediate objectives too low, you may feel frustrated and demotivated. Choose your goals wisely.
Here’s how the acronym gives you the clarity to achieve success by fulfilling your goal:
- Specific – What exactly do I want to achieve?
- Measurable – Can I measure my progress towards this objective?
- Attainable – Is there a chance I’ll succeed?
- Relevant – Does this matter to me?
- Timely – When do I have to act?
25 SMART Goals For Teachers
Setting SMART goals is an important part of the learning process. It allows you to plan what you need to learn and how we will accomplish it. Here are a few examples you can learn from to set your own.
- At the beginning of the semester, I will assess the students’ knowledge of the course material. Then at the end of the term, I will re-assess them to see if they’ve improved their understanding of the topic. At the end of the semester, I’ll make sure I examined the assessments.
- During the next few weeks, I will spend at most 20 minutes of each class period for guided practice while I am circulating the room and checking students’ work or answering their questions. If there’s nothing special going on, I’ll do this every day. To keep track of this, I will use a timer.
- To measure my effectiveness, I will conduct four surveys per year between now and the end of the school term to determine whether I am effective in delivering the lessons, with questions like “How often have you felt uninspired or unengaged in my class?” I will look back at the end of this school year to see if all four surveys were conducted.
- When I arrive at work each morning, I will make sure to look at the board to see if there are any updates to my daily homework, standard, and essential questions. Between now and the end of the school year, I will do this. To keep track of whether I’ve done the updates as I planned, I’ll reflect on them every week.
- For homework assignments, I will check them at least once per week between now and the end of the school year (or until they’re done). It will allow me to check whether the students are learning and understand the material.
- Within three days of handing in an exam or essay, I will grade it and send it back to the student. By doing so, students will have a better understanding of their work and learn from their mistakes. To keep track of how long it takes me to grade assignments, I will count the number of days it took me to grade and hand in assignments between now and the end of the school year (which ends in June).
- I will have a five-minute warmup before each class session between now and the end of the school year (i.e., two times per week). To keep track of how long I spend on each task, I will use a timer to make sure that I don’t exceed five minutes for any one task.
- Between now and the end of the school year, I will return all calls from parents to their children within 24 hours. Once every week, I will check to see if I followed through on my plan.
- I will attend at least one conference or symposium for the entire year to learn new things and become better at teaching. At the end of the year, if I realize I’ve attended more than one conference or symposium, then I will be happy.
- I will use at least one AVID strategy for each class period between now and the end of the school year. At the end of each week, I’ll check to see if the strategy was used. If not, I’ll go back and review the lesson.
- I’ll spend an hour a week putting up student work on my wall during the next two weeks. By showing them I value their work and dedication to learning, I will be able to motivate them to learn more. Whenever I feel like I’ve forgotten to do something, I’ll reflect on what I’ve done so far and see if there’s anything else I need to do.
- During the next few months, I will ensure that there is some type of technology every week used in my lessons to enhance students’ tech skills. If I look back at my lessons each time I teach them, I’ll know whether any technology integration occurred.
- Each student will be provided with at least one opportunity each week to learn and interact with his or her partner/team. Each week, I will review my lessons to make sure I’ve incorporated partner work or teamwork. On exam day, I won’t review any of the lessons.
- During two lunch periods each week, I will be available for 1-on-1 tutoring for my students. Or, during two after-school 30-minute sessions each week between now and the end of the school year, I will be available. At the end of each month, I will check to see if I followed through on my plan to do two weekly sessions.
- For the next three weeks, I will use a common mistake made by high school students the day before on their guided practice work for homework as a warmup the following day three times each week. It will help me learn again. At the end of each week, I will check to see if I made any common mistakes that week. If so, I will review those mistakes at least three times during the week.
- Each week, I will make sure my students write at least one complete paragraph explaining something they’re learning in class (in any subject, not just language classes), and in any subject, not just PE classes. Between now and the end of the school year, I will do this in order to encourage writing and explaining things in a step-by-step process. Once each week, I will check to see if I had a writing assignment during that time period.
- Every Friday, I’ll spend 20 to 30 minutes clearing off my desk, cabinets, and student areas. Classrooms need to be organized so that students learn to respect their physical surroundings and not disrupt others. Every month, I will check if I am keeping up with maintaining my organization and decluttering on an ongoing basis.
- During instructional time, I will not check email or text messages. I want to be fully engaged with the students. At the end of each day, I’ll check my progress.
- Between now and the end of the school year, I will attend at least four school events to show students I am engaged in their education. At the end of each semester, I will review my attendance record to make sure I attended at least four events.
- During the next few weeks, I will attempt to connect with each of my student’s parents. At the end of each month, I will check to see if I am on track. If not, I will adjust accordingly. If one form of communication isn’t enough, I will use two different methods.
Quick SMART Goals Examples
Here are some examples of SMART goals for teachers:
-To increase my vocabulary by 10 words each week.
-To read more books this year than last year.
-To write two short stories this semester.
-To start planning my own lesson plans next month.
-To complete my first unit plan by the end of the year.
-To finish grading all assignments before the end of the quarter.
-To make sure I am prepared for every class meeting.
-To ensure that I always have plenty of writing materials available.
-To improve my study skills so I don’t miss too much information during lectures.
-To develop better communication skills with my colleagues and other staff members.
-To take advantage of every opportunity to network with other educators.
-To find out where I can volunteer at schools.
-To try new things like using technology in the classroom.
-To use Google Docs to organize my lesson plans.
-To keep track of my progress through my planner.
-To ask questions whenever I have doubts about something.
-To be open to feedback from my colleagues and students.
-To create a positive learning environment for my students.
-To encourage students to participate in class discussions.
-To share ideas with my colleagues.
-To follow up with students after class.
-To give me regular reminders about what I want to achieve.
-To be confident that I am making a difference in the lives of others.
-To increase my knowledge about teaching methods.
-To become more proficient with Microsoft Office.
-To develop my communication skills by speaking English fluently.
-To complete all assignments on time.
-To study for exams regularly.
-To participate actively in class discussions.
-To use effective strategies when solving problems.
-To write well-structured reports.
-To prepare for interviews.
-To make good decisions.
-To get along with colleagues.
-To communicate effectively with parents.
-To manage my stress levels.
To maintain healthy habits.
-To get involved in extracurricular activities.
-To find new ways to motivate me.
-To take responsibility for my own actions.
-To follow through on commitments.
-To be punctual.
-To avoid procrastination.
-To be organized.
-To stick to deadlines.
-To finish tasks on time.
-To organize my time efficiently.
– To enjoy life.
-To be happy.
-To express gratitude.
-To accept criticism gracefully.
What Other Goals & Qualities Teachers Should Strive For?
You Need To Learn Love And Understand Children
You might not realize it right away, but you will spend most of your day around young people if you choose to become a teacher. The best way to know whether or not you like kids is to try to interact with them.
Try volunteering at a school or visiting a child care center. Ask questions and see how kids respond. If you don’t like kids, then you won’t enjoy working with them.
You Need To Practise Patience
Children can be difficult to deal with. Some kids may test your patience every single day. But, if you’re willing to put up with the challenges, you’ll eventually reap the rewards.
You Need To Be Disciplined
As a teacher, you’ll be held accountable for everything that happens in your classroom. This means that you’ll need to keep track of what’s going on in your room.
You’ll also need to set rules and enforce them. If you want to become an excellent teacher, you’ll need to have strong self-discipline.
You Need To Improve Your Creativity
As a teacher, you’ll need creativity to help students learn. For example, you could create games or lessons based on interests such as sports or music.
You Need To Develop Passion Towards Teaching
If you want to become a great teacher, you’ll need passion. Passion helps you connect with students and makes learning fun.
You Need To Persevere
Being a teacher isn’t easy. It takes hard work, dedication, and commitment. If you want to succeed as a teacher, you’ll have to persevere.
You need optimism
As a teacher you’ll face many obstacles along the way. However, if you remain optimistic about the future, you’ll be able to overcome these difficulties.
You need integrity
As a teacher, you’ll need integrity. You’ll need to be honest and fair when dealing with students and parents.
You need humility
As a teacher, there will be times when you feel frustrated or angry. Instead of letting these feelings get your best, you should let them go and move on. Humility will help you cope with these emotions.
You need empathy
Empathy is one of the qualities that sets apart good teachers from bad ones. Empathy allows you to understand how different individuals act and react in certain situations.
You need confidence
Confidence is another quality that distinguishes great teachers from average ones. Whether you’re teaching students who are struggling or those who are doing well, confidence will allow you to stay focused and deliver high-quality instruction.
You need persistence
Persistence is yet another characteristic that separates good teachers from bad ones..
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Carol T. Mahaffey is a certified American Author And a creator of Theleaderboy. Carol is a Self-Taught Marketer with 10+ Years of Experience. She brings her decade of experience to her current role, where she is dedicated to writing books, blogs, and articles, inspiring the world on how to become a better Leader.