For the past four years I have taught an English support class for students who need a little extra help being successful in school, and particularly in reading and writing. While I typically change up my lessons each year, hoping to grow off of successes and missed opportunities, one unit that has remained mostly intact revolves around having students create SMART goals (detailed in the additional resources below). The task is simple–they make an academic SMART goal that they want to work to attain for the school year. They get frequent opportunities to reflect on their goal, discuss character traits that one might need to reach a goal, and they can revise and edit their goal as the year progresses. Ultimately, it does not matter whether or not they meet their goal, but having a clear idea of what to work towards helps students maintain clarity and focus on how they want to progress through the year. I was thinking about this project as I began to consider my question for this module, which was…
What is a SMART goal for a secondary level peer coach based on 21st century learning? What are the components of this goal and what resources are available to help attain it?
As I find myself in more peer coaching opportunities, I feel like I have way too many goals–listen better, don’t interrupt, help others take risks, create an environment for taking risks, and on, and on, and on. While there is nothing wrong with being aware of areas for improvement, these “goals” can seem a bit too vague or unspecific and leave me feeling overwhelmed as they aren’t exactly attainable. So, this week I chose to take some time to make one specific SMART goal for myself as a peer coach, which I will reflect on and edit as I progress. Additionally, I included five specific action steps I will take to reach my goal to help have a more specific idea of how to move towards achieving it.
My Peer Coaching SMART Goal and Action Steps
As I previously mentioned, I teach a unit on writing SMART goals. Below, I have included the presentation that I use to introduce SMART goals to students.
21st Century Learning
I had intended to create a resource that took a deeper looking into the P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning. However, when I started my research I quickly learned that anything I had to say would be redundant as there is already so much great information out there. One particular article I enjoyed reading was by Jennifer Gonzalez titled “Buzzword Bling: Putting Subtance Behind our Big Words”. In it she explains that many belileve that teaching 21st century skills means teaching with technology, and while technology is a part, it is not the whole. She explains that “we must also include life and innovation skills along with the traditional core subjects” and to do this we need to “step away from notes and lectures and build experiences” (2016). To understand the P21 framework more completely, I am also including the infographic from the P21 site, which lays out each component.
- How can I effectively reflect on my goal over time? How can I ensure it will continue to grow as I grow as a peer coach?
- How do the 21st century learning standards relate to the ALA standards for the 21st century learner?
Bernard, S. (2008, December 03). BookmarkCollaborative Crusader: Creating a Twenty-First-Century Learning Community for Teachers. Retrieved November 4, 2016, from https://www.edutopia.org/collaboration-age-technology-lisa-huff
Gonzalez, J. (2016, July 17). Buzzword Bling: Putting Substance Behind Our Big Words. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://www.cultofpedagogy.com/buzzword-bling/
Partnership for 21 Century Skills (P21). (2007). Retrieved November 4, 2016, from https://www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/Bishop Pre-Con 2.pdf
Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. (2016). Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards/learning