Follow AAE on:

Subscribe to RSS Feed:

Setting Goals for Your Classroom
posted by: Ruthie | August 19, 2013, 03:16 PM   

All teachers go back to school with goals in mind. These goals are often state or school-mandated and many teachers also set personal goals for student development. While academic goals are crucial to insuring a student's successful future, emotional and social goals are tantamount to a child's well-being and academic growth.

Edutopia recently featured an article about framing goals for this school year, not in terms of academics, but in terms of personal virtues. In The Heart of Education, Dara Feldman states that while every students is endowed with the capacity to live a happy, principled life, they need direction and support to make this happen. Guided by The Virtues Project, a global grassroots initiative to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life, Edutopia offers Feldman's 7-step procedure for framing character goals:

Step 1: Let your students know that at the start of the school year, it's important to set goals. Ask, "What are some things you want to happen over the course of this year at school?"
Step 2: Explain that the purpose in setting goals is to become better individuals, or improve character. Explain the importance of character, and everyone's capability to act in "virtuous ways." Give a list of 12 "virtues" caring, confidence, kindness, courage, perseverance, courtesy, respect, enthusiasm, responsibility, generosity, and truthfulness, and discuss as time allows.
Step 3: Have students pair up and interview each other using this outline:
          1. What is one of your own virtues from the list and say a few words about how you try to live this virtue.
          2. What is a virtue that you would like to work on, to improve in your life?
          3. What are some ways you can show this virtue?
          4. How can I help you be successful in doing this?
          5. Reverse roles in the interview.
          6. Who is someone you admire, either in your life or in history, and what is the core virtue that you think they have followed?
Step 4: Make a list of the student pairs and the virtues they are working on. You may choose to share these with your class or not.
Step 5: At the end of each week, have the pair check in with one-another about how they are progressing on their chosen virtue. Encourage them to problem solve any difficulties. Consider having them join with other pairs working on one of the same virtues to expand the problem-solving pool. You can also assist as needed.
Step 6: At the end of each marking period, encourage students to self-evaluate their progress on enacting their virtue, seek feedback from their partner, you can provide feedback as well. Perhaps this can be integrated into the report card process.
Step 7: Provide direction for the next marking period. You can change pairs, allow for additional virtues to be adopted, or other creative adaptations that might occur to you.

Do you tie academic goals to character goals with your students?
Comment below.


Comments (0)Add Comment

Submit a comment
 (not published)
smaller | bigger

security code
Write the displayed characters