5 goal-setting ideas for the semester ahead

Can you believe that it’s almost the end of 2022? There’s so much to celebrate in the classroom at this time of year. Though there’s always such a rush of activity and excitement right before the end of the year holidays, it’s actually an optimal time to think about your classroom goals for the semester ahead.

So before you get knee deep in tinsel or bring out the New Year’s sparklers, take a beat and think about how you and your students can learn and grow together when everyone is back in class in 2023. Here are 5 ideas to make goal-setting for the semester ahead fun:

  1. Bring community into the classroom

    In a classroom where everyone feels welcome, it’s simply easier to facilitate lessons and for students to engage in learning. It’s when students feel comfortable that they’re more likely to participate in class and to make important academic connections. One way to create community is to bring your students into the process of running your classroom. Try asking this Along reflection question as you think about next semester:
    If you could change something about our class, what would it be? Why would you like to make this change?

  2. Share in everyone’s recent success:

    Before leaving for winter break, talk with your students about the work they’ve achieved in the first semester. Check out this educator practice centered on celebrating students’ growth and development, and consider one of the suggestions for sharing back your pride. You can write a letter, create a picture collage, or make a video. – You can even ask a reflection question to get the conversation going:
    How do you feel about the work you did and the end result you achieved recently? Why do you feel that way?

  3. Learn from your past:

    After celebrating how far you and your students have come, you may notice areas for improvement. While there’s no need to dampen the mood, use this as an opportunity to think about how failures can be opportunities for growth. You might use the classroom activity Facilitate Learning from Mistakes and Failures to help influence new mindsets.

  4. Focus on holistic wellbeing:

    Goal setting isn’t just about school work or professional goals – it’s also about making time for yourself and prioritizing things you enjoy for a balanced life. This is important for teachers and students alike! If you need inspiration, visit our reflection question collection centered around joy.

  5. Check in with each other regularly:

    Goal setting is all well and good, but it’s important to stay accountable and not let your plans slide. You may want to use a system like SMART goals (or another of your choosing) to help everyone stay on track. Like New Year’s Resolutions, it’s all about the follow through.

Visit Along’s Content Library for more goal-setting inspiration, or read some of our other content around semester transitions: