As we all return from our various summer activities [reading, resting, eating and playing in my case], we open our libraries and consider all the thought clouds bursting with ideas. We make lists. We make calls. We pause to consider our Goals.
How do you winnow this year’s Goals from the long list of Things I Want to Accomplish?
No small potatoes. Every year, I create a list of the Things I Want To Accomplish. Part of this year’s reads like this:
- Review Goals from last year
- Place initial book order
- Meet with teachers
- Assess FLISL Network business
- Review inventory notes
- Test LibGuide links
- Continued expansion of research skills and share with colleagues
- Check mailbox
- Moon Landing anniversary?
Most of this is the easy stuff that I can “check off” and feel like I have total control over. Cleaning? Done. LibGuide links? Done. Continued expansion of research skills? Wait. That one…is a constant in my world. Among a few others on my list. Could this be the germination of a Goal for this year?
How do I winnow the Goals from all of my Things I Want To Accomplish? I decide to start with a review of my goals from last year: (And I notice a pattern.)
I first listed my areas of growth for inspiration (these usually are similar year over year, because, really, when do I expect to ever truly perfect “communication” or “reading enthusiasm”?). Then, in prepping my goals I looked at the year ahead of me: I recalled we had a Global Studies initiative that I wanted to support with new literature and nonfiction. Goal #1! I won a grant last year that allowed me to attend PD at Stanford for designing an plan for implementing a makerspace at our school. This was a pretty simple goal to state as I had done a great deal of the work in my application. Goal #2! Collaborating with teachers is really always on my list, but more specifically it related to my work with makerspace implementation. Goal #3! Upon reviewing my goals from last year, I feel met these. (Measuring “met” is another post.)
So what does this year look like?
Where is my inspiration coming from today?
I did a lot of reading last year and this summer around empathy and building compassion via stories. Lower School is rich ground for this type of work. Our students deserve action from us constantly around ways to develop identity, understand the world, and appreciate all the people in it. One of my Goals will likely stem from this.
I also want to expand on the research skills of my Lower School students from collaborative and foundational work I did last year. But narrowing it to language that can fit into a Goal? This is something I will continue to consider until my Head’s deadline next month.
Goals are an expression of our interest in growth, excellence, and trying new ideas. Mine seem to come from a thread of last year and a dream of the coming one — with a dash of clear language to help me meet them.
How do you winnow your Goals from your Things You Want to Accomplish?