Posted in Miscellaneous

One Step at a Time: Why Goals and Assessments Matter

Ah, the beginning of a new semester. The time when the excitement for new school supplies runs high while your bank account runs low. When you’re excited to start new classes, meet new friends and.get back to hours of homework.

One of my favorite parts of the new semester is setting goals. I like to start out with high aspirations that set me on the right track and motivate me to achieve great things. I’ve learned that it’s important to set goals that:

  • Lead to a bigger end-goal

  • Are easily measurable

  • You can check every day

  • Result in something you really want

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Recently, as we’ve been talking about assessments in my education classes, I’ve realized that measuring your students’ success isn’t that different from keeping consistent goals. Just like goals keep you on track to become who you want to be, assessments can help you in assisting your students to realize their full potential.

  • Lead to a bigger end-goal. Sometimes you have to plan backwards. Decide what your students need to learn, how you’re going to measure their learning, and go from there. If you know your end-goal, you’ll know what small steps to take along the way and how to best prepare your students for the final assessment.

  • Easily measurable. After you’ve decided what your assessment will be, make sure it’s easy to recognize if a student has achieved the objective or not. If you give clear expectations, you won’t question about whether or not the student was successful. It will be easier for students to know what’s expected, too.

  • Check every day. Just because you’ve already decided how to check for learning at the end of a bigger unit doesn’t mean you can’t check for understanding everyday. You can take mini-assessments with quizzes, class discussions, or worksheets. Even asking questions in class can help you determine if the students are understanding content. It’s important to check the progress of students as they move along in the education process.

  • Result in something you really want. You want your students to succeed. As a future teacher, you know how important it is for students to learn what you’ve prepared and feel confident in their work. In the end, your main motivator is the success of your students and their confidence in what they’ve learned.

Just like creating your own personal goals, providing your students with good assessments and sticking to your educational goals can ensure your students can reach their full potential.

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