Daily writing prompt
How do you plan your goals?

Since we are in back to school season here in the U.S., and I am a veteran teacher, I think I will take the planning goals for students route on this prompt. School or learning as we define it in the current time period is basically the attainment of a series of goals or objectives, further, giving students a chance to reach an attainable goal each day in class can make all the difference. This also applies to any type of management including our children at home.


Ways You Can Help Your Child Set and Achieve Their Goals

1. Set Realistic Goals – As an educator, we see a lot of kids in the situation of feeling overwhelmed and anxious because their parents expectations are unrealistic. There is nothing wrong with having high expectations of your kids, but making sure you are not overwhelming them is very important. When students feel stress/anxiety their performance will typically decline. A certain amount of stress can be expected in school with tests, grades, and even citizenship grades, but try not to push them into things they do not want to do, or can not do.

2. It’s Easier to Water Trees Then Put Out Fires – I use this saying often to “test” the goals I am setting for my students. I want to push them to be the best they can be, but there is a point where it is counterproductive. The way you can tell if things are going awry with your student is to check in with them everyday possible. Your first concern should be their mental and physical health, then how they are doing with their academics. Waiting until their semester becomes a literal dumpster fire will be traumatic for all involved to put out, hence watering the trees.

3. Get to know your student’s teachers – What kind of teacher are they? Are they a good fit for your child? If you never meet the teachers, you will never know unless the teacher happens to call you, which usually is not a good thing. Optimizing student performance requires a strong partnership between school and home. When the student feels supported and comfortable they will be more likely to take the risks that are associated with learning a classroom of their peers. If you feel the teacher is not a good match for your student, try to get them into a class they can be more successful in. Your child will describe these teachers as “cool” or “chill”. This means that they trust this adult and see them as a valuable person to learn from.

4. Have formal check-ins each week – Depending on the age of your student, you may want to do five of these a week for an elementary student or maybe once for a high school student. Have the student write down all of the assignments they need to do. Make sure they know what the instructions are and that they know when due dates and tests are. Kids typically want to do well in school, but this type of self regulation may not kick in until they are older (especially for boys) so they will need guidance until then. By doing this you are doing several very good things for them: 1) showing that you thing education is important, 2) supporting them in the pursuit of their own goals, and 3) validating the school experience. After a few of these meetings, you may be able to step back or discover your child needs more help then you realized.

5. Utilize support services at the school – A lot of times, students are on the borderline of qualifying for support services such as: Special Education, Counseling, or help making sure student’s have access to technology. Every year I have students in 12th grade that have gotten these services they needed and overcome learning issues and those who have not. Parents and families may be afraid of the stigma of having their child in different environments than the mainstream classroom, but would it not be better to actually help your student learn? If you notice your student has consistent attention issues, reading issues, or behavior issues at school, it very well could be one of these situations. Kids would always rather look rebellious than stupid.


Summary and Closing

Remember to keep your goals and expectations realistic for your student’s abilities. They have the rest of their life to learn, in the long-run enjoying learning will take them much further than having bad experiences in advanced classes. Check-in with your student often, so that you are “watering trees” not “putting out fires”. Get to know your student’s teachers as much as you are able. If you can not meet with them, send and email every so often to check-in with them on your students progress to strengthen your partnership. Utilize support services at the school if your student is struggling. Don’t let undiagnosed learning disabilities go undiagnosed for years. Once they fall really far behind on skills, they will really be in trouble academically.

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Thanks for reading Bunchiesblog. I hope you have found some of these helpful. I welcome any feedback on this content. Likes and shares are always appreciated!



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