Friday, July 26, 2013

The Art of Education Update and Invitation

A few months back, I began writing a new blog for my educational advising service, Thrivapy. That blog, The Thrivapy Blog, has developed a similar tone and message to the articles I shared here on The Art of Education.

Initially, I struggled with what to do with The Art of Education and have tried to find a place for updating this blog in my schedule. What I have found is that I cannot with the regularity that I expect from myself. In other words, my work here on The Art of Education cannot meet my minimum standard of expectations.

Therefore, I want to announce that I am taking a break from The Art of Education for an undecided amount of time. This will allow me to focus more on my full time work as a Head of Middle School, write for The Thrivapy Blog, work on my next book, and serve the limited number of clients I have for Thrivapy.

Oh yes, and be a father and husband!

I am NOT deleting this blog. I believe it contains a valuable record of my work and a number of useful resources for students, parents, and teachers. As a matter of fact, I intend to republish my more popular articles from The Art of Education on The Thrivapy Blog.

I want to thank all of you who visit The Art of Education and invite you to join me at The Thrivapy Blog.

Now, back to work....

Monday, July 8, 2013

3 Reasons to Help Students Set Goals

There are many reasons why setting goals helps one find greater success. However, when it comes to helping students set goals, there are three benefits that can go unnoticed.

1. Relationship building

One of the more important characteristics of successful students is the nature of their student/teacher relationships. Engaging with students in goal setting provides an opportunity to help students outside of the usual classroom setting. This interaction can help enhance your relationship with students, especially if you take a FRITR (Friendly, Responsive, Interactive, Reliable) approach.
2. Foundational clarity

Helping students articulate their goals ultimately requires some reflection on mission, beliefs, and vision. These foundational elements provide a sense of purpose in school, what success looks like without barriers to achievement, and a set of values upon which you are willing to take action. Clarity on all of these points helps bring specific, actionable goals to the forefront of the conversation.
3. Partnership platform

Setting goals with students also provides a platform from which you can strengthen your partnership with parents. Sharing goals with parents and engaging with them to be on the watch for progress helps surround students with another layer of support. Also, once benchmarks are met, you can partner to celebrate progress.

Goal setting, on the surface, may seem easy. However, it takes an investment in time and patience to guide students towards goals that are specific, flexible, challenging, and realistic. Once those goals are articulated (and committed to), the benefits mentioned above are more likely to appear.
 
This post first appeared on The Thrivapy Blog on May 20, 2013.
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