Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Whose Goals Are They, Anyway?

 I was sitting in the chair, getting my hair cut, having the typical casual conversation with the woman cutting my hair, when I noticed the post-it note with Nicole's weekly goals.   As I looked it over, I started wondering about these goals. 

Finally, I couldn't stand it any more.  I just had to ask, and the following conversation took place:

Me:  Did you write that?
Nicole:  Uhhh, no.
Me:  Your boss write it?
Nicole:  Yes.
Me:  So they tell you what your goals should be?
Nicole:  Yep
Me:  Hmmmm, I'll bet that motivates you.
Nicole:  Oh, I don't really pay any attention to it.

And then I started thinking about students in Reading Workshop.  I wonder how often my goals for them really don't have anything to do with their goals for themselves.  When I am pushing my agenda of positive attitude and hard work equals success, I wonder how many students have other priorities?

As the teacher, I have a responsibility to have goals and expectations for my students.  But if they are going to be meaningful, there must be some ownership on the part of the students and their parents. With this in mind, and reaching the halfway point of the school year, it seems appropriate to ask students to evaluate their year so far, and set some goals for the rest of the year.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. McGuire,
I think this is a really good thing that you are doing with your students. Letting them grade themselves. I think anyone would be lucky to have a wonderful teacher like that at their school.

Anonymous Visitor