Teach Tip Tuesday: Set SMART Goals

This week’s Teach Tip Tuesday focuses on setting SMART goals. Currently at my school we are reflecting on our practice and setting goals to be our focus for the next year.

Part of this process includes completing the AITSL reflection tool to identify your strengths and areas for improvement. From here we are asked to select 2 – 3 goals that we would like to focus on for the year. While determining a goal can be easy, completing the goal may be challenging.

This is where SMART goals and action planning come in. Any goal that I have successfully actioned used SMART goal planning with an action plan that contained clear deadlines that I needed to meet because for me no deadlines means little progress.

So how do you form your goals?

  1. Decide on a goal and write it down.
    1. Think: Does it align with your school priorities?
    2. Think : Will you get support to achieve it?
    3. Think : Can you do it on your own?
  2. Rewrite it so it is specific.
    1. Think : How much time do you have?
    2. Think : Can you do it in the time allocated?
  3. Write down what you want to see at the end.
    1. Think : Do you need help?
    2. Think : How will you know when you have finished?
    3. Think : What type of data will you need to measure progress?
    4. Think : Do I know how to collect this data?
  4. What are the steps that you need to take to achieve your goal?
    1. Think: Little steps are more achievable then large ones.
    2. Think: What tasks to I need to complete to work towards my goal?
  5. What people or resources do I need to help me?
    1. Think: What resources can I access easily?
    2. Think: What resources will the school possibly provide?
    3. Think: What preexisting networks can I use to get support?

Once I have worked through these steps I prefer to define my goals further by putting together an action plan. My favourite is this one by Tina Doe. I also have 2 other planners here that you could use that are a little simpler.

When I define my goals in my action plan for each action step towards my goal, I identify the resources and support I need and the amount of time it will take to achieve. By having my goals set out this way I can gradually tick off parts of my goal as I progress throughout the year. See the example below.

Once you have completed an action plan you can tick it off as you go. Completing an action plan also allows you to determine if your goal can be completed in the time frame that you allocated.

Please post any questions you have about planning your goals below in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Also check out our related posts:

Professional Goal Setting

Leading Change


About cmcaton

I am a Secondary Teacher and Head of Department Mathematics in Education Queensland. I am passionate about the development of pedagogy that engages the 21st century student and love to explore their implementation in the classroom. Disclaimer: The thoughts on this page are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.
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