As we enter into term three at Woodstock Christian School, the grade 8 students have all set SMART Goals to help monitor their growth in learning. In the week before March Break, the class discussed and collaborated to develop a ‘Goal Bank’. These were a few ideas which acted as a springboard for students to use as a starting point in setting their own personal goals for this term. The word SMART is actually an acronym that we use to help work through the process of goal setting. The acronym stands for the following:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Action-Oriented
R - Realistic
T - Timely
It is important when setting a goal that students have an opportunity to reflect on the process of meeting their goal throughout the term. In our classroom, we have regular conferences with peers as well as with the classroom teacher to monitor progress on goals that have been set and to hold each other accountable to the goals as well.
This term we have actually created a class-wide goal as well, which I am really excited about. We discussed in class that it is easy to move into coasting mode during term three, especially in Grade 8, when graduation is just around to corner. As a class we all agreed that the class-wide goal for term three is going to be: “We can maintain a strong learning environment.” We will have this goal posted in our classroom and it will act as a constant reminder that we are going to strive to finish this school year well.
The purpose of goal-setting in grade 8, is to begin to help students understand that when they set a goal, it can be accomplished and we can celebrate the success of achieving our goals. As I write this I am reminded again of our school theme from Hebrews 12:1, 2; “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
We are all running a race that is marked out for us and this takes perseverance, setting goals helps us persevere when it gets hard. When we have goals that are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and timely they help us live our lives with purpose.
Mr. T. Schaafsma, Grade 8 Teacher