Growth, Goals, and Mindset

Deep into October, as our school year is maturing, many teachers and students are reviewing their initial growth and learning, developing goals for growth, and preparing for student-led conferences.

As part of the personal learning process, setting goals is a critical element and one which can be incredibly rewarding and somewhat vexing. To support Vermont educators implementing personalized learning in their learning communities, PLP Pathways hosted a webinar October 18 focused on the goal- setting process. You can watch the recording of that webinar here.

Our special guest was Vermont teacher and author Christine Hertz. She had some excellent perspectives and viewpoints with regards to goal setting and what we ask students to do in the process of setting goals.

Throughout the webinar, we discussed different formats for the creation of goals, the different strategies used to engage students with goal setting, and how we can use goal setting to create positive mindsets and better relationships with students.

Key discussion questions that were addressed included the following:

  • When talking about goals setting in your book you talk about telling the “story” of a goal by identifying the what, how when or where. Can you walk us through how to use this process in our classrooms. How does Carol Dweck's research inform this practice?
  • How can teachers and parents help co-construct goals?
  • How do we avoid potential goal setting pitfalls when the child’s goal is different from the teacher's goal or the child has no goal in mind.
  • When students have goals, how do we help them remember it?
  • How do you integrate literacy into the goal setting process? Do you have any favorite short stories or books that support goals setting?

Additionally, we took questions from practitioners and addressed those through our discussion. These included:

  • How do you engage students in goal setting in your classroom?
  • How are families included in the goal setting process?
  • What ways do you incorporate intentional conversations and opportunities to talk about growth mindset and self-talk in your classroom?
  • What happens if a student is struggling to set a goal?

What was particularly interesting about our conversation was how closely the development of goals and the goal setting process is tied to positive relationships and mindset in the classroom. The better the teacher-student relationship, the more effective and appropriate goal-setting can be.

If you have questions or what to review some resources, check out the PLP Pathways website and in particular, see this page for more examples.

Finally, don't forget that if you would like to earn professional development credit for time spent watching any of our webinars, you may do so by responding to questions based on that month's offerings.

Webinar 1: Identity and Building Relationships

Webinar 1 Professional Development Credit

Webinar 2: Goal Setting and Mindset

Webinar 2 Professional Development Credit