Crafting well-defined goals can improve your practice, positively impact your student outcomes and give you a way to measure success in your classroom. Skip to the different sections in this guide via the links below:
- Create a focused goal
- Review your goal periodically
- Celebrate your success!
Create a focused goal
To achieve genuine and lasting impact, ideally, your goal should:
- Focus on improving student achievement
- Align with your school or state standards
- Build on and strengthen your skillset
In this guide, you'll find some pointers on how to use TeachBoost to create impactful and achievable goals for your year ahead.
Learn how to begin the goal-setting process in TeachBoost from your dashboard in this help doc.
The SMART method is a well-established tool for planning successful goals. Vague ambitions for your year ahead can leave you adrift, so a great way of setting goals that are ultimately achievable is to use the SMART acronym: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound.
Think who, why, when, where and what!
- Does your goal focus on a particular group of students?
- What are you trying to achieve?
- Why is this important to you and your students?
- What limitations or challenges do you foresee and how will you overcome them?
- What resources can you use to accomplish your objective?
Pro-tip: Focused language and active words - particularly verbs - are best used to define your goal.
- Will you measure your success via student surveys, performance data, or a combination of items?
- Are there baseline data you need to collect at the beginning of your school year?
- How will you quantify your success?
Your baseline data and any other beginning-of-year evidence can be attached to the Goal Profile page for ease of reference when reviewing your goal later on.
Find out how to attach documents to your TeachBoost goals in this help doc.
- What smaller steps will you take on the path to achieving your goal?
- What larger milestones will you pass?
- Are there any challenges or limitations that you may come across?
- What resources do you need in order to reach your goal?
You may find the Action Plan area of the TeachBoost goal tool useful in planning out your strategy and the steps you expect to take along the way to achieving your goal.
Find out more about how to utilize the Action Plan in this help doc.
- How does your goal connect to student learning?
- Does your goal align with your school or state standards?
When creating your goal in TeachBoost, you can select one or multiple components of your school framework or standards that your objective is aligned with. This helps you when building a portfolio of evidence (see section below).
Setting specific objectives with an idea about when you expect to review your goal and achieve success is important.
When creating your goal, you can frame it with your timescale in mind, e.g. "By April, I will ...", but it might be helpful to set yourself target dates for each of the smaller steps you take to ultimately achieve your goal. Each of the next steps you can create under the Action Plan in your Goal Profile can have target dates assigned, which may assist in keeping you on track!
When you've finished filling out your goal and want to submit this to your school leaders, you can send them an email notification linking to your goal in the app. Here's how!
Review your goal periodically
As your students develop, their needs change, and perhaps unforeseen issues emerge, you may discover you need to review your goals. In fact, you may find this more likely than not.
After implementing the initial steps of your Action Plan, it's worth taking time to review progress and maybe adjust your strategy or target in response.
Some schools may require you to do this in a more formal way in TeachBoost, perhaps with additional pages or fields for you to fill in mid-year goal reviews.
Whether mid-year goal reviews are a formalized process at your school or not, it's definitely good practice to set aside the time for occasional reviews of where you are and evaluate any potential adjustment to your strategy.
Discover how to locate goals you've already started in TeachBoost and begin your review process in this help doc.
Build an evidence portfolio
Collecting data from as many sources as possible on an ongoing basis will provide you with a solid basis for goal reflection. Reviewing this evidence periodically will enable you to identify when there is a need for alternative strategies or when your goal itself may need modification.
What kinds of evidence can you use to grow your portfolio? Depending on your target goal and strategies, you may have a range of evidence types at your disposal:
Student assessment: including student conference notes; student self-feedback; your assessment plans and tools; images of student work; records of student performance and achievement
Professional responsibilities and learning: including parent communication; team/department meeting notes; your professional development plan; policy documents; workshops attended/delivered
Self reflections and feedback: including student surveys; parent feedback; peer feedback; performance review feedback; reflection on your professional learning plan
Classroom observations: including lesson plans and preparation; images of classroom environment; student surveys; observation feedback; videos of teaching practice
If your goal in TeachBoost is associated with a particular area of your school standards or teaching framework, any data from your classroom observations or your self reflections in TeachBoost will also feed into your goal, which will help you built out your evidence portfolio automatically!
Find out how to actively upload evidence to your goal in this help doc.
Celebrate your success!
Congratulations on achieving your goal! To mark this step in your goal journey, you can click Mark Goal as Achieved from your goal profile page, to finalize this goal's status in all of your school's reports.
You can download a copy of your goal for your records via your browser's print modal, outlined in this doc :)