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9 February 2018

posted 15 Feb 2018, 17:18 by Carolyn Brett
We have got off to a terrific start to the year, if not slightly odd with the 2 short weeks. I'm not sure whether this easing back into things is a good idea or not, but what I am sure about is that we are all revved up and determined to make this year even better than last year!

Soon you will have your Goal Setting Meetings with your child/ren and their base group teacher. Just like new years' resolutions, we need to get focussed on a couple of areas for improvement, but not too many, as then it becomes too hard and well...... we may never start! That's why these resolutions often fall off the radar.... quickly!

Research tells us that having goals is incredibly important. They serve 4 critical functions:
  1. Goals direct our attention, both cognitively and behaviourally, toward what matters.

  2. Goals energise people, and difficult goals are more energising than easy goals or no goals.

  3. Goals impact persistence, and hard goals particularly impact persistence because they prolong effort - impacts performance.

  4. Goals lead to the discovery of our skills and resources.
Yes, there are SMART goals but we like the notion of SMARTER goals - where the E = exciting and R = rewarding (as well as the mantra of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound).

Having such a strong emphasis on the whole child and wellbeing at our kura, we view the setting of goals as key. This happens regularly throughout the day, the week... but these upcoming Goal Setting Meetings set the direction for the year. The more challenging the goal, the more likely we are to build perseverance and passion = 'grit', and it's grit we need! 

We also like to keep the child at the centre, what do they want to work on, what about their strengths - what are they already good at and how might we support that to build on that? For example, what about the child who naturally mentors others, supports their classmates and shows leadership of themselves and others? Where might they be able to take those skills in 2018? Let's aim high!

Then there is willpower and waypower - how do we support our children to break their goals down into 'kaizen' steps - small manageable stepping stones so that these smaller accomplishments provide the motivation for the bigger ones?

So, easing into 2018? I don't think so! Please have a think before the meetings as to what's really important, have a chat with your child/ren, and teachers will be also having conversations leading up to these meetings as well. They are also a great opportunity to get to know your child's base group teacher a little more as well, even if they are timebound! 

I've talked about this concept of grit before and am sure to again. If you are interested in finding out more, please check out Angela Duckworth's work. You may even want to take the quick survey for yourselves - our teachers did!