How can setting goals promote wellness?

One of the topics I am was asked to write about is goal setting. Seeing as how this is the first post lets talk about goals! Goals for this page, goals for myself, and ways that teachers can set goals for themselves — without becoming overwhelmed.

The goal of this blog is simple…meet my master’s class requirements. What is the overall goal of my masters? I am trying to figure that out! The way that teaching system is set up I need to stay current with credits, and this class is helping me meet that state requirement. Maybe keeping up with this blog can help me discover where to take my teaching career next. Teaching from home can feel slightly isolating at times, or like I’m not doing my job correctly…. Or like I’m not doing ENOUGH even after long days! Sharing my experiences, both good and bad, might be the tool I am looking for to help de-stress, stay connected, and explore MY future career goals.

In our class we are leaning about setting goals. This relates to focusing on what we as teachers CAN control. For me feeling out of control is a main source of stress in the profession. Our text “The Well Balanced Teacher” by Mike Anderson suggested looking at goal setting as a very scientific process, one that I will summarize below:

  1. Observe and collect data – When you notice a problem start gathering simple data related to the issue. The author suggests behavior tally charts, quizzes, and timing lessons. Keep it simple.
  2. Examine data and generate ideas – review the data you collected. Make sure the problem is specific and that progress can be measured in some form. You might want to brainstorm with others about how you can possibly fix your problem.
  3. Choose a goal – start somewhere, put one idea you have into action at a time.
  4. Asses through observation and data collection – collect even more data now that your plan is in action! Observe those students!
  5. Consider next steps– the author suggest asking yourself two main questions; “how did it turn out?” and “what next steps might be necessary?” (Anderson 2010)

A critical part of this process is also to realize that “our goals should reflect our actions, not the actions of others.” (Anderson 2010) Make sure you are setting realistic and measurable goals that are focused on YOUR ACTIONS as a teacher. Most teachers know and repeat that favored phrase to tattling students…we can only control ourselves! You are never going to be able to obtain a goal to get a student to stop yelling out, but you can set goals for yourself about how you will respond to that student.

To me it also seems like Anderson takes a more limited approach to the word “goal” …making it more about changing something that is happening rather then the word “goal” meaning to materializing a desired outcome (more on ideal visioning later!?).

#zerotohero #goals #goalsetting #teacherwellness #science #education


Anderson, Mike. The Well-Balanced Teacher: How to Work Smarter and Stay Sane inside the Classroom and Out. ASCD, 2010.

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