First it's essential to know a person well. To understand his/her mission/vision and strengths/challenge.
Next it's important to thoughtfully work together to focus in on a few areas of growth--to choose together areas where growth will be meaningful and impactful. It's essential to work together to define those areas of growth and to set a path to attain that end.
Then it's integral to keep the conversation and efforts going related to that growth. To revisit those goals often with discussion, reflection, and revision. To think about these questions:
- What gains are you making?
- What do you need to better your development in this area?
- What obstacles are you facing in this regard?
- How can I help?
- Is there room for some revision or greater detail in your development goals?
- What professional learning events or actions will help you to achieve this?
As I think of this, I am thinking about my students next year. I am thinking about how I might make the process above more explicit and developmentally appropriate for the young students I teach and their parents.
I'm thinking that we might add this to our student/parent questionnaire with words such as What are the three most important goals you have for the year ahead?
To learn and achieve well, it's important to create and work towards specific goals. As an educator the number of goals we can embrace are limitless, and that's why it is very helpful to have responsive and dedicated colleagues or leaders to work with us in this process and to help us decide on goals that will truly impact the work we do and the people we serve.