When you think of planners as an educator, what is the first thing that pops in your mind? Unit planners? Lesson planners? Day planners? While these are all useful, planners can also be valuable and beneficial tools for setting personal goals for growth and professional development. To help you get started, we have created the two templates below and provided steps for helping you achieve your goals.
Before setting goals, it is important to be familiar with your starting point and where you are right now in your personal learning journey, which is why the first template is for reflection, as seen below.
1. Begin by ask yourself what you are hoping to achieve. Do you want to become a more compassionate leader? A more innovative teacher? A better problem-solver?
2. Once you know your objectives, you can begin filling the questions boxes on the Reflection form with the qualities you possess or would like to possess in order to become, let’s say, a better leader. For example, am I empathetic? Am I a problem-solver? Etc. For the sake of this article, let’s say being more empathetic is one of the qualities you have chosen as part of being a good leader. (See column 1 of the Reflection form – it has been filled in as an example.)
3. The next row is to reflect on guiding thoughts. For each question, write down a thought that inspires you and reminds you of why it is you wish to possess that quality.
4. Use the checklist row to brainstorm a list of achievable actions for each quality you have listed. For example, a few things one can do to become a more empathetic leader are as follows:
The list can include things you are doing well, and those you need to improve upon – only place checks in your areas of strength.
Once you have completed the Reflection form and you have taken stock of your strengths and weaknesses, you are ready to complete the Goal Setting template below.
1. The Goal Setting template begins the same way as the Reflection planner and requires you to start by stating your question (Am I empathetic?) and filling in your guiding thought(s) that inspired you.
2. The next part of the planner requires you to set goals based on areas of improvement, as noted in your Reflection template. You will need to state your goal, explain how you will achieve it and when.
3. Finally, revisit your Goal Setting planner on a regular basis to assess your progress and plan the next steps if you have not achieved your goals.
What kind of educator do you aspire to be? By using the above templates as a starting point, defining your goals and developing plan of action to achieve them, anything is possible!