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What: I recently read an article about nine things successful people do differently. It discussed why we reach some of our goals and not others. The base of it is that we do not reach our goals because of who we are but instead because of what we do. I began to think of this in terms of my classroom and thought of several ways to help my students succeed in their goals by using the same suggestions. The following are a few of my thoughts. You can read the entire article by clicking here

Be Specific when setting a goal. Instead of saying you want the whole class to improve, state that you want all students to meet their above 80 mastery goals. State your specific goal out loud to the class. Allow the entire class to help others be successful in the collective goal. 

Chart the growth. You will be more successful if you know exactly how far you have to go – think of those fundraisers with the rising temperature gauge to demonstrate how much has been donated to date. After you state your goal, display the progress in your classroom so everyone is clear on what has been accomplished and how far they have left to go. Obviously, we do not want to embarrass students, so if your goal deals with your collective class think of a clever way to get around displaying names. Maybe allow students to create their own code name, or give every student an animal, shape, or food item to display their progress. 

Model grit. Making changes is hard and students need to see someone struggle and still continue. Show students how setting goals and succeeding in them is difficult but worth it in the end. Make the goals lengthy so students have to stick with it as a class. I truly believe grit is the absolute best quality students can have. 

Focus on the new. The article suggests that in order to be successful, we should focus on what we will do, not what we won’t do. The article suggests that focusing on statements like I will work out five times a week instead of I won’t be able to eat out anymore essentially replacing bad habits with good ones. In your classroom, you can focus on what we will do instead of listing our rules of don’ts. What if our classroom rules included things like “we will be kind”, “we will be respectful”, “we will show grit when facing problems”. This idea of focusing on the do’s instead of the don’ts was a gamechanger for the culture in my class. 

References:

All sourced information is hyperlinked as applicable above. 

TLDR (too long didn’t read):

I recently read an article about nine things successful people do differently. It discussed why we reach some of our goals and not others. The base of it is that we do not reach our goals because of who we are but instead because of what we do. I began to think of this in terms of my classroom and thought of several ways to help my students succeed in their goals by using the same suggestions. The following are a few of my thoughts. You can read the entire article by clicking here

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