Goal Setting in the Classroom and at Home for a Child
“A person’s mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.”
~OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, JR.(poet, writer, physician)
How do we prepare our children for the real world?
WHAT DO WE DO IN THE SCHOOLS?
Decisions should always start at the top for any successful business or organization. In the school setting, administrators provide leadership to align general and special education reforms. It is their duty to determine the appropriate setting for all children and the schedule that will be most beneficial for each day. What exactly then should they focus on for the special needs child?
The company “Good Apple” has provided various useful educational school supplies for educators and parents. Below are some statements that can be used to help make a connection with a child and help them set goals for their future. Below are statements that I have asked students with special needs to fill out in order to build a special rapport with them and attend to their needs on an individual basis. It is important for parents and educators to be aware that children want to know that you care about them and when you know something about their lives that very few other people know, then that is special to them. Developing a bond or special rapport with a child means the world to their self-esteem and ultimate well-being.
Here is a list of “About Me!” points that you can discuss aloud or have your child/student write down on a piece of paper:
- I sometimes wish….
- I often learn best if…
- I would really like to learn about…
- It is difficult for me to learn when…
- My role model is…
- If I had three wishes, they would be…
- My accomplishments are…
- I enjoy…
- I am happy when…
- The most important person in my life is…
- I get frustrated when…
- My biggest goal is to…
- The nicest thing I ever did…
- My favorite subjects are…
- My least favorite subjects are…
- When I look at myself in the mirror what I see is…
- Something else I could tell you about me is…
In the resource room at school, having a set of goals posted can be very effective for student learning. The special education teacher can develop a list of goals that are short, concrete, and understandable. Depending on the situation, one teacher may feel it worthy to involve the children in determining their own set of goals and holding them accountable for their actions, while another teacher may find it easier and more efficient to structure the goals for the students. The teacher can choose whichever method feels appropriate and worthwhile.
Below is a top ten list of goals for children that I have used in my classroom and found to be useful for children with special needs. Educators in the resource room at school may find this helpful, also. Parents may find that they are able to post these goals at home in a visible place so their child is reminded of the expectations set forth.
TOP TEN “GOALS TO ACHIEVE”
- Be well ORGANIZED.
- Always WORK hard.
- Use our time EFFICIENTLY.
- Be KIND and POLITE to others.
- Finish all work ON TIME.
- Be PATIENT and FORGIVING.
- RAISE YOUR HAND to speak.
- Have a POSITIVE attitude.
- Be HELPFUL to those who need help.
- Treat others the way that YOU would like to be treated.
- These are NOT designated as “RULES” but rather “GOALS”.
- This is not an extensive list.It is an easy number for children to remember (TEN).
- All of the goals are bolded, magnifying their meanings.
- The statements are positive in nature.There are not any “Don’t do….” or “Never……”
- Various words are capitalized and bolded to denote the importance of the message.
The students can carry a “Things To Do” daily sheet with them from class to class. This allows them to stay organized and helps them to see what it is that they accomplished for the day and the remaining tasks to be completed. You can customize your own sheet having a second column that can be checked off by either the adult figure or the student and possibly adding a third column for an adult supervisor’s signature verifying its completion. This adds accountability, stability, and routine on a daily basis that will help the child reach his/her goals in spite of any obstacles or challenges imposed during the school day.
For more information on helping a child obtain overall SUPER HEALTH, please visit: www.douglashaddad.com.
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