The Power of a Goal-Minded Teacher

5 min read

There are moments, days, and even years when teaching overwhelms us. We have a grand mission to transform the world even if currently society, nor policy takes great care of its teachers. At the beginning of civilization, teachers were revered. Cicero once said, “What greater gift can we offer the republic than to teach and instruct our youth?” How do you keep your fire, your joy, your sanity, and peace of mind throughout out your teaching career? I invite you to join The 30 Goals community. Each year, teachers come together from around the world to accomplish 1 to 30 goals to transform the learning in their classrooms in a movement known as The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers. Below is the slide show of my keynote, an infographic of the current goals, and a 10 minute video I did for EFLTalks. Take the challenge and see how  accomplishing one goal can make a difference!

Presentation Notes

  • Goal: Envision Your Greatness– You have to believe in your ability to transform lives and the world. Give yourself pep talks.
  • Goal: Plant a Seed of Belief– We must believe in each of our students, especially the ones who are the least motivated or closed off. Some people are rarely told an adult believes in them.
  • Goal: Cultivate Relationships– Transform your classes into communities where students help each other achieve! Check out these icebreakers and team-building exercises.
  • Goal: Re-evaluate Value– You don’t have to grade every activity. Let students know that failing or getting a low score doesn’t mean they have failed in life. Provide them with examples of heroes who achieved greatness by failing many times.
  • Goal: Rethink Classroom Management– We should aim to love versus punish. We need to stop sending students to the office or writing them up. Instead, get them to reflect on making better choices and coming up with plans to deal with their anger, sleepiness, boredom, etc.
  • Goal: Integrate Technology Effectively– Check out my survival tips for integrating technology effectively. Provide students with examples of people their age accomplishing the incredible with social media or their
  • Goal: Enjoy a Zen Moment– Take at least 30 minutes a day to relax, refresh and gain some peace of mind!
  • Goal: Encourage Play– When we were children, we loved playing in the sand, dirt, and exploring. Let’s provide moments where we laugh, explore, and discover with our students so they see the value of enjoying learning!
  • Goal: Build a Passionate/Personal Learning Network– Find you educator community. Connect with hashtags!

10 Micro Goals to Accomplish

  • Take one day to high five all the teachers in a meeting or all the students in your classes.
  • Build your teacher survival kit. Gather supplies to help support you in case of fire drills, lack of attention, etc. These supplies might include masking tape, flash cards, a small ball, a timer, and scissors. You could win an Aussie Pouch for accomplishing this goal by August 31st!
  • Get your students to participate in at least one icebreaker. Find tons of icebreakers here.
  • Thank another teacher or mentor. You could also get your students to write thank you notes to their teachers and mentors from the previous year.
  • Write yourself a letter to read at the end of the year. List what you would like to achieve by the end of the year. You could also get your students to write themselves letters to revisit at the end of the year!
  • Give yourself a pep talk. Write down a few motivational words or sentences to repeat silently to yourself throughout the day or every morning before you meet with your students. You could also get your students to reflect on negative thoughts and replace those with positive self talk.
  • Enjoy a zen moment! Dedicate at least 15 minutes to an hour each day to relaxing or enjoying yourself.
  • Name your personal theme song and play it several times to motivate you! Get your students to come up with a list of songs that give them confidence.
  • Let parents know how excited you are to teach their children in a phone call, text, email, or letter. Some parents never receive positive calls regarding their children. You could be the first positive phone call and see what a difference it makes.
  • Create your teacher manifesto! Outline your beliefs about powerful learning in a graphic. Share this manifesto with your students.

New to The 30 Goals Challenge? Each year, teachers worldwide aim to accomplish 1 to 30 goals that transform their teaching. Join the movement by accomplishing any goal from any of the cycles then letting us know through a blog reflection or status update on our Facebook community or on Twitter, @30GoalsEdu . At our official site,, find all the goals, participant reflections, badges, and get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Classroom workbook. Click here to discover all the 2015 goals!

If you enjoyed these ideas, get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. 

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