Setting professional goals at the start of the school year is an indispensable habit that helps increase one’s resiliency while fostering continued teacher growth and reflection. However, before you get to the important step of identifying explicit, reasonable and measurable teaching goals which you plan to take on, we strongly encourage that you take a few moments to do some deeper reflecting. Here are some questions designed to help you consider your teaching practice and challenge your assumptions so that you can better determine the most suitable goals for the upcoming year. Consider discussing these questions (and your answers) with a colleague or supervisor at your school.
- What are my beliefs about learning? And does my teaching practice reflect my beliefs?
- What have I noticed about myself as a learner? How do I ensure I am a learner first? How can this knowledge help me with future learning (and my students’ learning)?
- What did I learn in the last year that could help me be a better teacher this coming year?
- What do I wish that I could change (in my classroom, learning goals, teaching style, curriculum, school)? What small steps could I take towards making it happen?
- What am I fascinated by? How might I find out more about it? Who else is interested? Can I collaborate? How might this impact my teaching?
- What are my strengths? How might I develop them further? How might I use these strengths to support others in their teaching or learning?
- What does a classroom that facilitates student learning look like? What can I do to make my class(room) look more like that?
- How can I get to know every one of my students and how they learn best?
- How will I create a culture of thinking amongst my students? Who owns the learning in my classroom? How do I put the students at the center of the learning?
- How will the learning in my classroom be relevant to the lives of my students? How might I ensure that learning is always purposeful?