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Goal Setting

Each week, Instant Meeting presents an idea or activity that you might use to make staff meetings more interesting, teacher-centered, educational, or fun.

Brief Description/Purpose

In this activity, teachers establish three goals at the start of the year. They revisit/evaluate their progress toward those goals mid-year and at the end of the year.

Materials Needed

  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Envelopes (standard letter size)

Time Required

More Ideas for
Instant Meetings

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And don't miss our Great Meeting series. Dee Kelsey and Pam Plumb offer a short course on creating meetings that work, based on their popular guide, Great Meetings. They present ideas to help you learn how to lead meetings that generate ideas; analyze problems; define a vision; evaluate ideas and make decisions; plan for long-range needs; encourage group participation and keep groups on track; and much more.

This activity can be done at that start of the year as part of a formal staff meeting; or it can be introduced in a staff meeting and completed by teachers in the days immediately following that meeting. The activity can be reviewed mid-year as part of a staff meeting or separate from it.

"Instant Meeting" Idea

Capitalize on the excitement, energy, and new ideas with which many teachers start the school year with this meeting activity.

Give each staff member a sheet of paper, a pen, and a standard-size business envelope. Ask them to write down three goals they have for themselves for the new school year. You might ask them to write

  • one goal they really want to accomplish in the area of home/parent communication;
  • one personal-improvement goal; and
  • one colleague-support goal.

Teachers and other staff members write their goals and seal them in their envelopes. They then write their names on the outside of the envelopes.

Keep the envelopes -- unopened -- in your office until the start of the second half of the year. Then bring them out again and ask the staff to review their three goals and consider what they've done to accomplish them.

Then have staff members note actions they hope to take toward their goals in the second half of the year. Seal those goal sheets in a new envelope. Toward the end of the school year, return goal envelopes so individual teachers can review their progress.

This approach gives staff a chance to set goals, re-focus on those goals at mid-year, and then review their commitment at the end of the year. This activity can be used to support the professional evaluation process in your school, or it can be entirely separate from that. In either case, this tool is one way to help teachers and other staff members keep themselves focused and accountable for three positive things during the school year.

Thanks to Pat Green, principal at Cedar Heights Junior High School in Port Orchard, Washington, for this idea, which was first presented in the Education World article, Principals Share "Best Meetings of the Year".


Follow-up is built into this activity. Staff members will follow-up at mid-year and the end of the year on the goals they set at the start of the school year.