California Educator

February/March 2021

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Instead of academic goals, try SEL goals Kelly, a teacher in our WeAreTeachers Helpline Facebook group, shared: "I would recommend setting goals around building relationships and SEL [social-emotional learning]. These are supported by research and more important than ever. This way, you can focus on the whole student and their needs during this time." I couldn't agree more. Yes, our students need to learn how to identify the main idea and do long division, but this year, teaching them how to handle stress and manage their fears feels more goal-worthy. Your goal might look like what Victoria, a teacher in our Facebook group, shared: This story originally appeared in WeAreTeachers ( in December 2020. I will incorporate student reflections into my weekly lesson plans to promote student ownership and provide a way for students to advocate for their own needs." 55 F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 21 Instead of "I am not good at X, so I better set a goal for X," try "I am good at Y, and I want to keep working at Y." We are really hard on ourselves. Too often, we focus on what we don't know or aren't good at, rather than what we love and are great at. I coach a first-year teacher who told me, "I'm bad at classroom management, so I guess we need to work on that," and my response was, "Do you want to work on that? Because if you don't want to work on something, you aren't going to." Motivation and drive are at an all-time low this year. We are so tired we can barely manage to shower, let alone become "good" at classroom management. So this year, let's set a goal to keep going with something we love or are doing well. No motivation required. Your goal might look like: I have built strong relationships with my students by learning more about them and what they like. I want to build on this by learning about what my students care about and the problems they want to solve."

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