As 2024 quickly approaches, many of us are beginning to consider a new year’s resolution. This is the perfect chance to talk to your student about setting goals for school next semester. Our goals here at EYC Academy aren’t meant to be vague or unrealistic. We want students to practice making appropriate, clear, and realistic goals for their work in the spring. And of course, ideally these goals provide motivation for students to succeed more and grow their skills.
Consider these three tips for helping your student set good goals for next semester.
Encourage Clear and Specific Goals
If your student’s goal is to “get better grades,” or “do better in math,” that is certainly a step in the right direction! But it doesn’t provide a solid finish line for students to see. Help them break down their goal into more details to define what success looks like.
- What better grade are they aiming for?
- What GPA do they want at the end of the semester?
- How many days can they be off-pace before getting back on-pace?
- What strategy or skill will they use and when will they use it?
By encouraging specificity, you help your student create a roadmap that not only defines success but also outlines the necessary steps to reach it.
Encourage Realistic Goals
We don’t want our students to settle for mediocre. We know each of our students is capable of achieving great things! But it’s also important to recognize that unrealistic goals can lead to frustration, procrastination, and burnout. If your student consistently struggles with English/ Language Arts, then a goal of reading 20 books in a semester might be unrealistic (though that would be amazing if accomplished!). Instead, a realistic goal might be to read the entire first chapter of a book before deciding not to read the rest. Or listening to a book instead of reading it on paper.
In addition, some students have a lot to do outside of school! Help your student evaluate their school workload, extracurricular commitments, and personal responsibilities realistically when they are setting their goals for school.
Encourage a Growth Mindset
Sometimes we don’t always achieve our goals the exact way they’re written. Or at least, not by the deadline we set. Setbacks are a natural part of the learning process and an opportunity for growth. We want to encourage a growth mindset in our students by emphasizing the value of learning and improvement over time, even when challenges arise. Rather than viewing challenges as failures, they should see them as stepping stones toward improvement.
Help your students identify areas where they can stretch themselves and acquire new skills. This mindset shift not only promotes resilience but also instills a lifelong love for learning and self-improvement.