Give Structure to Your School Year with a SMART Goal!
As we start the school year, many of us are asked to write one, two, or even three goals for the coming school year. Some are not asked or required. Whether it is part of the job or not, every one of us needs to lay out some goals. Think of them guidelines for the coming school year.
What is a SMART goal? SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. When you break down a SMART goal, you want to plan something you will work on either through the semester or the school year. Do not pick a multi-year project, but one that is contained within this year. You can still work on larger projects – this does not define everything you do. But it may help put a focus on your Media Center.
For example, when I think about what I did and did not accomplish last year, I realized that starting a virtual book club last year with the faculty had some positive effects. One thing I have never really done with any success was a book club for students. To rectify that, I created a DonorsChoose project to get some books and a button maker for an activity. I then made a SMART Goal for this year: To engage students with a social justice book club to increase student literacy and build critical thinking skills by May 1, 2022.
It is specific, achievable, realistic, and has a time constraint. How would I measure this goal? I can have a sign out sheet for the books we are reading. I can take attendance but I would rather no one feel bad if they miss a meeting, so I will probably just count heads. I can and will make social media posts about our discussions or activities (like buttons!).
What I did not do in my goal was say how many students I will engage with it, because I have no idea! I had mentioned this to a few students last year who said they were interested. Now it’s time. I will advertise and talk to students. I may be overrun or it may be a small group of five. I’m okay with that. In the larger scheme of things, this goal ties to the school’s goal of increasing student literacy and meets the county’s goal of improving students’ academic successes. Personally, I think I will also learn a great deal while working on this SMART goal. It is not my whole Media Center activity, but it shines a light in a small corner of what a Media Center and School Librarian can do.