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How to Teach Students to Set goals: A Guide For Teachers


Achievement gaps between students may be caused by many factors, but one of the most important is a lack of motivation and a lack of clear and achievable goals. As a teacher, you can help your students to set realistic and attainable goals, and then provide them with the resources and support they need to become successful in reaching them. Here is a guide to help you get started.

Encourage students to take ownership of their learning:

Setting goals starts with the student having ownership over their learning, which means that they must have control over what and how they learn and feel that their goals are worth achieving. By encouraging communication between student and teacher, you can create an environment where the student feels comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas and can decide on the best way to reach those goals.

Help students set achievable and realistic goals

Start by discussing with each student their goals for the upcoming year, factors which could affect their progress, and how they want to measure their success. Be sure to ask open-ended questions so that you can better understand their motivations and plans for success. Once you have clear goals, break them down into smaller, attainable objectives that can be met along the way.

Develop goal-setting tools and resources

Have materials handy such as digital calendars, checklists, planners, timelines and other tools that can be used by your students to keep track of their progress towards reaching their goals. Additionally, teach them the importance of setting aside time for reflection and goal-setting so that they can assess their progress and adjust their plans if needed.

Provide support throughout the process

Let your students know you are there as a resource should they ever need guidance or assistance along the way. Be sure to check in regularly with each of your students so that they know they have someone in their corner who will help them stay accountable to their goals.

Successfully setting goals is key to helping your students close the achievement gap and reach their full potential. By following these steps, you will be able to better help your students reach their educational objectives while gaining confidence in the process.


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