4 Reasons You Need to Start Setting Goals as a Teacher


Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers that exist, so why set goals? When you know how to set and attain goals throughout your career, it is likely you will have a more positive outlook and develop skills like problem solving and flexibility. What does goal setting look like? We recommend setting “SMART” goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Oriented goals. 


Here are 4 reasons why you need to set goals regularly:


1. Goals give you things to look forward to! 

Setting goals will give you something to anticipate throughout the school year. You can feel excited to show up and teach knowing you will be moving one step closer to that goal. Optimal times of the year to set goals are in October, February, and April so that you can remain focused on something positive amidst the busy times.


2. Goals help you celebrate small achievements! 

Have you ever tried to achieve a really big goal, only to give it up later? By setting smaller, more achievable goals, you can train yourself in the discipline of goal setting. When you are successful on a small scale, you will be able to gradually increase the scale to achieve more lofty goals! Do yourself a favor and plan a small celebration ahead of time. Mark it on your calendar, set a reminder on your phone, and follow through with that preplanned incentive when the time comes! You will be glad you did!


3. Goals help you recognize big efforts! 

Don’t forget to celebrate the big successes, too! After the first teaching semester as well as your entire teaching year, plan to celebrate what you have accomplished. Keep a journal or jot down successes as the weeks pass. It could be as simple as a successful parent-teacher meeting or a kind comment from a student. When the last day of school comes, you will be able to look over all of the small successes and see them as the big achievement they are! 


4. Goals help you develop endurance! 

It’s important to remember that teaching is both a sprint and a marathon. The sprint is the short-term focus, whether it be your day, week, or quarter. The long-term is both your semester, school year, and career as a whole. In order to develop your endurance as a teacher, you must focus on both short and long-term goals. Maybe you would like to focus on your time management this week and your long-term goal is to only work contract hours. There will be points throughout the school year where having a goal to look forward to will help keep your eyes on the target.


Remember, your students need you at your best! Start goal setting today, even if it’s as small as writing down a positive memory from your teaching day! Stay tuned for key areas in which to set your goals and some examples to get you started.