Set Three Goals for the New Year 2009 January 06 2009

What will be your three goals for 2009?New Year's resolutions always seem to last for about 3 weeks and then we forget about them, so this year why not try something different? Social Media expert Chris Brogan wrote about an interesting New Year's goal setting exercise that might be fun for teachers to try; you could even do this with your students. What he suggests is that you set 3 or so goals and then select 3 keywords to represent those goals.

Here's how the excercise works. Think of 3 things you want to do to be even more successful in your classroom in 2009. Then think in broader terms of what those things mean to you and what they might mean to your students. For instance, maybe you want to focus on word studies. This helps focus more on the future and concrete goals, rather than looking backward to set resolutions.

But, don't stop there but think in terms of what that would allow you to do with the kids in the classroom. As you write down your thoughts you will find keywords that emerge. You can use these keywords to help frame new opportunities to implement in your classroom.

Maybe your goal is to try a new literacy activity. But think more in terms of the underlying goal. It could be that you want to help students learn new blends more quickly than with your previous activity. Perhaps "blend" would be one of the keywords you choose. Be sure you right down the meaning behind the keyword and then keep your list close at hand as the year progresses. That way you can see how things unfold and how your ideas develop throughout the year.

Try it yourself first and you might find it could be worth doing with your class. Help them set 3 goals and choose keywords that they can work with in whatever activities you may have planned. They will learn some new goal setting skills and at the same time can go deep in understanding and defining what their keywords mean.

My 3 goals for 2009:

Roots - I want to connect with old acquaintances and get back to some of the people and places I grew up with, simplify my life a little and rediscover my roots. I'll be using Facebook as one tool to help achieve this goal in 2009. I'll also be using it to connect with new friends and acquaintances so please add me as a friend if you also use Facebook.

Rejoice - Since 2008 was such an odd and not-so-fun year in many ways, for 2009, instead of dwelling on what I want to change I plan to try more often to rejoice in what I have, the people in my life and the activities I'm working on each day.

Patience - Here at Teaching Resource Center we have worked so hard since taking over the business last July that some days it is hard to be patient; everything seems to take so long to be complete. And being a very results-oriented individual I sometimes struggle with being more patient but I plan to work harder on it this year!

If you'd like, post your three goals in the comments form and let's compare our 2009 keywords. We'd love to see what your keywords are for the New Year.

-Steve Thornton, Teaching Resource Center