SMART Goals in the Classroom

Why create goals? Goals provide the focus and guidance to move forward, even when it’s tempting to get lost in the day to day.

SMART is a acronym developed in the 1980s in the business word to help people create and fulfill their goals. Mike Schmoker, author of The Key to Continuous School Improvement says, “Clear, measurable goals are the center to the mystery of a school’s success, mediocrity, or failure.” Teachers can write student-centered SMART goals to focus their work during a data cycle, or more teacher-centered SMART goals to help measure their own growth in the classroom.

Ask yourself these questions when writing a SMART goal:

S: Specific and Strategic (What exactly do I want to measure and why?)

M: Measurable (How am I going to measure it?)

A: Action Oriented/Attainable (Is this a goal I can reasonably meet with the resources I have?)

R: Relevant (Will meeting this goal improve my students’ learning?)

T: Timed/Tracked (When will I achieve this goal?)

Here is an example teacher-centered SMART goal for the classroom:

GOAL: By the end of 3rd quarter I will double the amount of feedback I give my students by writing in their class notebooks every Friday instead of every other (changing to once a week from once every two weeks). This will provide my students with twice the amount of opportunities to see my thinking about their work and make changes in their thinking.

S: amount of feedback given to students

M: “changing to once a week from once every two weeks”

A: the notebooks are already a resource in the classroom

R: “provide my students with twice the amount of opportunities to see my thinking about their work and make changes in their thinking”

T: “By the end of 3rd quarter”

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