On the Sunday before we returned to school after the winter break, my sister sent me a message to tell me about an idea I should try with my students. She suggested that I get the students to put together a SMART Goals Soundtrack. I wrote back to let her know that she saved my skin, after which, I sat down at my desk and wrote up my day plans.
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I think the idea is genius. It’s simple and it makes you think about what your goals actually are. Not only do you need to come up with a goal, you also have to make it a SMART goal, and then you have to find a song that relates to the goal. At each step, you are reminding yourself of your goal.
Because I like to geek out
all of the time from time to time, I decided that I’d try to put together an animation for my students that explains what a SMART goal is.
This is what I was able to make:
It’s not the greatest thing, I admit. I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to putting these things together, but it was a fun way for me to get excited about having to explain SMART goals to my students. It wasn’t as much fun when I heard the video playing from about twenty different computers.
In case you didn’t watch the video or weren’t paying attention, a SMART goal is one that is:
I didn’t anticipate that it would take the students as long to complete this as it has. I’m not sure if they are really into it or if they are still waking up from winter hibernation. I think it has more to do with me not giving them a solid block of time to work on it.
Even though my students have taken over two weeks to complete this, I’m sad to say that I have yet to complete the assignment myself. While we were brainstorming in class, I wrote down what some of my goals for 2020 might be but I never followed through and created SMART goals or a soundtrack to go with them.
Now’s as good a time as any.
My SMART Goals
- I will read a book every two weeks so that I will have read 25 books by the end of 2020.
- I will work on a story to submit to the CBC Nonfiction Story contest for half an hour every day until the deadline (February 28, 2020).
- I will produce six episodes of a podcast by December 31, 2020.
- I will exercise three times a week for at least thirty minutes each time until the beginning of the summer.
- I will cook dinner twice a week until the end of the summer.
- I will keep my desk at school and at home clean by tidying up for ten minutes every day until the beginning of summer.
- I will stay at work until I’m finished my tasks for the day four out of five days a week until the end of the school year.
- I will learn more about differentiated assessment and instruction by participating in five professional development activities related to the topic by the end of the year.
- I will write 25 blog entries to Mr. G Tutors by the end of 2020 by spending two lunches a week writing.
- I will make 20 videos for my Mr. G Tutors YouTube channel by dedicating one evening every two weeks to making one.
Phew. That wasn’t easy. By the seventh one, I was struggling. I was looking around for inspiration. I even took a short walk around the room.
- Ender Will Save Us All by Dashboard Confessionals
- Paperback Writer by The Beatles
- I Wanna Talk About Me by Toby Keith
- Hey Lover by LL Cool J feat. Boyz II Men
- Pizza Guy by Touch Sensitive
- So Fresh, So Clean by OutKast
- Workin’ Day and Night by Michael Jackson
- Come As You Are by Nirvana
- Mr Writer by Stereophonics
- Bumbro from Mission Kashmir
I thought that I had a pretty good library of music stored in my brain but I’ve learned that I don’t. Finding a song to match all of my goals wasn’t easy. It took me about three days to compile just that list.
For each of the songs that the students chose, they are meant to provide a 100-word justification. Now, I realise that this post is already getting a bit long so I’ll save the justifications for my next post.
Before leaving off, I’ll just say that I think it’s really important to set goals for yourself. One of my greatest professional fears is becoming complacent with my teaching practice. I think that goals, somewhat ironically, are a good way to assess where you’ve been and where you’re at. But, even more importantly, they are helpful in getting you to consider what you plan to do to get that next step closer to where you want to be.