Setting goals is a popular activity at the start of a new year. In fact, many classrooms incorporate this into their Term 1 programme to give students a chance to set their personal intentions for their learning.
Sadly, setting and forgetting is a common practice when it comes to goals. With the best of intentions, children and adults alike write out their annual goals and then set them aside, only to remember them months later – and often be met with disappointment at goals not reached.
Of course, it’s no wonder this happens when our goal lists are put in a drawer and forgotten about, as our routines pick up the busy pace in February. But setting goals and then failing to achieve them can be damaging to students’ self-esteem, as well as incorrectly teach them that goals aren’t useful! So how can schools, parents and support teams help students to use goals more effectively?
Parents can set a good example with their own goals, discussing the importance of thoughtfully writing specific, realistic goals and then creating a plan of action to achieve them over time. Perhaps a check-in family goals meeting each month may help keep everyone on track!
School and tutoring need to be incorporated into the plan. Sometimes we see some very stressed-out parents and children trying to book a last-minute session to cram for an exam or get an assignment done! This is clearly not ideal, as the atmosphere of anxiety and rushing is not conducive to learning or even to getting the job done well. And of course there’s no guarantee you’ll get a session with your tutor at the last minute! Remember, these education sessions are not a quick fix or even just for exam preparation – they are there to support students’ learning goals over time, to ensure they are achieved.
Currently our students are not only preparing for exams; many are getting a head start on the curriculum and expectations of the next level of schooling. From pre-kindy through to tertiary studies, our students who prepare early are confident and set to do well in class – and we’re proud to be a part of that!
On this note, we’d like to share some recent comments from the parent of one of our students. Thank you to Harper and his family for working with us.
I came to My Academy in 2016 initially to help support my son who had lost some time at school. He needed a catch up but also a huge confidence boost. We started in the group classes, which were excellent, with Harper also developing some wonderful relationships with his peers. This was a great head start and he quickly got his confidence back as I could hear him in the class speaking up and discussing the finer points of a question.
Harper started one-on-one tutoring later the same year. Not only did we need to be more flexible with the timings but also we were considering GATE and wanted to see how Harper would respond to the types of questions this would pose. Once again Harper has flourished and grown into his capability more and more.
Whilst GATE is important, it is also only a moment in a time with a lot of factors that can impact the outcome. For us, as a family we will continue with tutoring at My Academy regardless of the outcome of GATE. Both he and all the family have learnt so much, coming to My Academy is always in our weekly calendar and if we don’t come, we feel like we have missed out.
Thank you Rachel and your team.