Professional Goal Setting


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Setting goals for staff members. Department staff member goal setting.

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Professional Goal Setting

  1. 1. “Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.” Dylan Wiliam Michael Jordan The famous basketball player Michael Jordan wrote the following about goal setting in his book, I Can’t Accept Not Trying: Michael Jordan on the Pursuit of Excellence: I approach everything step by step....I had always set short-term goals. As I look back, each one of the steps or successes led to the next one. When I got cut from the varsity team as a sophomore in high school, I learned something. I knew I never wanted to feel that bad again....So I set a goal of becoming a starter on the varsity. That’s what I focused on all summer. When I worked on my game, that’s what I thought about. When it happened, I set another goal, a reasonable, manageable goal that I could realistically achieve if I worked hard enough....I guess I approached it with the end in mind. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there. As I reached those goals, they built on one another. I gained a little confidence every time I came through. ...If [your goal is to become a doctor]...and you’re getting Cs in biology then the first thing you have to do is get Bs in biology and then As. You have to perfect the first step and then move on to chemistry or physics. Take those small steps. Otherwise you’re opening yourself up to all kinds of frustration. Where would your confidence come from if the only measure of success was becoming a doctor? If you tried as hard as you could and didn’t become a doctor, would that mean your whole life was a failure? Of course not. 
 All those steps are like pieces of a puzzle. They all come together to form a picture....Not everyone is going to be the greatest....But you can still be considered a success....Step by step, I cant see any other way of accomplishing anything.
 I Can’t Accept Not Trying: Michael Jordan on the Pursuit of Excellence is published by HarperSanFrancisco, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers (ISBN 006-25119)
  2. 2. STUDY BACKS UP STRATEGIES FOR ACHIEVING GOALS Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews from Dominican University has advice for those who put ‘stop procrastinating’ on their list of New Year’s resolutions: Share your goals with a friend. Research recently conducted by Matthews shows that people who wrote down their goals, shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals. Matthews became interested in the study of procrastination about 10 years ago after reading an article in Fast Company magazine about the ―1953 Yale Study of Goals.‖ The premise of the study — that people who write down specific goals for their future are far more likely to be successful than those who have either unwritten goals or no specific goals at all — has inspired the teachings of many self-help authors and personal coaches.
 The only trouble is that the study was never actually conducted. The 1996 Fast Company article debunked the Yale study as little more than an often-quoted urban legend. 
 However, Matthews’ research now backs up the conclusions long attributed to the mythical Yale study. 
 ―With the proliferation of business and personal coaching and the often anecdotal reports of coaching success, it is important that this growing profession be founded on sound scientific research,‖ Matthews said.
 Matthews recruited 267 participants from a wide variety of businesses, organizations, and networking groups throughout the United States and overseas for a study on how goal achievement in the workplace is influenced by writing goals, committing to goal-directed actions, and accountability for those actions. Participants ranged in age from 23 to 72 and represented a wide spectrum of backgrounds. 
 Participants in Matthews’ study were randomly assigned to one of five groups. 
 Group 1 was asked to simply think about the business-related goals they hoped to accomplish within a four-week block and to rate each goal according to difficulty, importance, the extent to which they had the skills and resources to accomplish the goal, their commitment and motivation, and whether they had pursued the goal before (and, if so, their prior success). 
 Groups 2-5 were asked to write their goals and then rate them on the same dimensions as given to Group 1. 
 Group 3 was also asked to write action commitments for each goal. 
 Group 4 had to both write goals and action commitments and also share these commitments with a friend. 
 Group 5 went the furthest by doing all of the above plus sending a weekly progress report to a friend.
 Broadly categorized, participants’ goals included completing a project, increasing income, increasing productivity, improving organization, enhancing performance/achievement, enhancing life balance, reducing work anxiety, and learning a new skill. Specific goals ranged from writing a chapter of a book to listing and selling a house.
 Of the original 267 participants, 149 completed the study. These participants were asked to rate their progress and the degree to which they had accomplished their goals.
 At the end of the study, the individuals in Group 1 only accomplished 43 percent of their stated goals. Those in Group 4 accomplished 64 percent of their stated goals, while those in Group 5 were the most successful, with an average 76 percent of their goals accomplished. 
 ―My study provides empirical evidence for the effectiveness of three coaching tools: accountability, commitment, and writing down one’s goals,‖ Matthews said.
  3. 3. Setting Goals Goals are “wants” – targets that we wantto achieve. For something to be a goal, it has to: be important to you personally be clearly defined be within your power to make it happen through your own actions be something you have a reasonable chance of achieving have a specific plan of action When setting goals make sure that your goals are: Your goal is right to the point. S PECIFIC Know exactly what you want, what you’d like to see happen, what you are striving for. The more specific the goal, the easier it will be to get it. You will know when you have reached your goal. M EASURABLE You can keep track of your progress and see if you are moving toward your goal. Ask: How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished? A CHIEVABLE Only you know that you want. It follows then that only you can write your goals. Your goal is something you know you will achieve. It should not be so challenging as to be impossible to achieve, nor should it be so basic that it can be achieved with little or no effort. Can you see yourself there? R Your goal is something you know you will achieve and it won’t be impossible to reach. EALISTIC It is not beyond your ability. It can be accomplished. You have the knowledge, skills and competency to reach it. T IMELY Your goal has a clear “start” and “end” date. There is a time frame. The amount of time you have to reach your goal is reasonable – not too short, not too long.
  4. 4. Apply the GROWTH model to your goals Goal - What do you need to achieve? Reality – What is happening now? Options –Consider what you could do Will –What will you do? Tactics – How and when will you do it? Habits – How will you sustain your success?
  5. 5. SETTING GOALS Semester 1 Your goals should be “SMART” My Goals My Action Plan to get there What went well? Anything I’d do differently next time? Some learning goals for growth to consider - One specific thing I need to do better to improve my students' learning Generating Geography resources Formative assessmentMeta-cognitive learning strategies Classroom management skillsLesson starters and plenaryPositivity ratio in class