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Yes, that also means it's goal setting time for Mandy, me, and the rest of the blogoshere!
It can't be avoided - discussion on Facebook on whether to have new year resolutions or not doesn't help and pretty soon we'll be back at school leading students in the art of setting goals for their year.
But before we start on that proud tradition - some cautionary words from Dan Rockwell to reflect upon:
Some limitations of goals-only thinking:
Goals restrict happiness. Goal-fever puts off happiness until goals are reached (adapted from, “Atomic Habits,” by James Clear)
Goal-driven leaders minimize difficulties and exaggerate opportunities. False optimism results in best-scenario-thinking.
Setting a goal is easy. Choosing the next best step is the challenge.
Goals are outside your control. But behaviors are within your control.
Yes, we should exercise some caution: students can become hugely invested in a big audacious goal - say, a pass rate figure for a year group. The potential pluses are obvious - collegiality and group strength/expectation can raise students up to higher levels of performance/achievement. The potential negatives are less obvious - what about the students who don't buy into the goal or who can't/won't reach the needed levels to meet the goal?
Worth thinking about as we approach goal setting season.