Many teachers are still working to craft their goals. Remember that you will need at least one Professional Practice Goal (how you teach/improve your practice) and at least one Student Learning Goal (an area the students will improve upon over the course of the year). It is up to you if you would like to have more than one goal in each of these areas.
In creating a Professional Practice Goal, start with a Self-Assessment. Some teachers know immediately in which areas they would like to extend their practice. Others, faced with a blank piece of paper, may have difficulty. I find it helpful to start with the Educator Rubric and read through the definitions for Exemplary, Proficient, Needs Improvement and Unsatisfactory and then rate which of the elements describe areas where I have the most room for improvement. I may not necessarily believe that I deserve to be rated Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory in these areas, but there are certainly some areas where I am stronger than others.
Educator Evaluation Rubric SISP Evaluation Rubric School Nurse Rubric Adaptation
I like the following step-by-step guide from MA DESE that shows the process taken by one teacher to craft a Professional Practice Goal. Your goal may or may not take wording directly from the rubric, but the rubric can be helpful in crafting your goal.
SMART Goals Step by Step DESE
Remember that your goal should meet the S.M.A.R.T. framework.
Specific and Strategic: Outline the behaviors and/or products that will be the outcome of your goal. Be sure to narrow the scope of your goal – it is better to focus on a specific skill or behavior and do well than to attempt to make great leaps in too many areas. (See Attainable, below) This is a good place to make sure you link to one of the elements from the rubric.
Measurable: How will you and the evaluator know that you have met your goal? This does not need to be a quantitative measurement.
Action-Oriented and Attainable: You need to DO something as part of your goal – implement a new strategy, create a product, etc. Set reasonable expectations. You are working on continuous improvement toward a rigorous standard.
Relevant: Your goal should be related to your core practice. Again, take a look at the appropriate rubric to see that your goal aligns with your responsibilities as an educator.
Timely / Time-bound: Set target dates and benchmarks or determine how frequently the action will occur. Depending upon the nature of your goal and educator plan (1-year or 2-year), you may decide to stretch your actions over two years with a review of your progress at the mid-cycle formative assessment.
Resources: This is not included in the SMART goal framework but is part of the goal report. Think about what you might need to be successful. Is there a conference or professional development class that would help you develop needed skills? A book or other materials that would help you accomplish your task? These should go in the Resources section of the goal form.
The start of the school year is a hectic time and it may be difficult to put aside time for reflection on your professional practice at this time. While the deadline for professional practice and student learning goals is October 1st, I hope to schedule time for reflecting and building my next set of professional practice goals at the end of this school year for the start of next year as it will be easier to reflect on my professional strengths as this school year comes to an end.