I was very inspired by Katie’s Tic Tac Toe challenge in our last blog! What a fun way to engage with professional activities. I love out of the box thinking! So keeping with the same theme, I want to discuss an idea with you that I hope will inspire you to be excited for the beginning of the school year.

I am talking about creating a strategic plan for your year. Not just content, assessments, or assignments, a detailed plan with some goal setting components that will help you to work your plan!  Now, I know what you are thinking…You have been an educator for a long time, and you already have it down. Or maybe this is your first year and you aren’t even sure how to plan.  Likely, you fall somewhere in the middle. I want to encourage you to create a solid plan to help you sail into the Fall with ease. You got this!

Think about planning a trip, which I am sure many of you did this summer! 🙂  Let’s say you want to go on a trip to Maine next year. That is an awesome goal, but how do you take something that you want and turn it into a reality? You map out the steps to get to an end result. You pick out your dates and map out your road trip or book your airfare. You find a hotel. Then you have to find how you will save for the trip, where you might go, what you might do, etc. There are so many things that are involved in planning a trip, it can make your head spin.

This is a lot like being in the classroom.  There are so many moving parts that if you don’t walk in with some timelines and goals, time will pass you by without achieving what you want! Check out this article on the importance of creating a year-long plan by Patti at Madly Learning.  Some of you might have your curriculum already mapped out for you. That is awesome because it gives you more freedom to focus on your goals and what you need to do in order to achieve them. You are literally creating your roadmap to success.

So, where do you start? There are many options out there that can help you with free planning guides, templates, apps, etc. I am going to tell you about my two favorite tools that I use to plan everything.  My favorite place to look for templates is Canva, I use this on a daily basis. Below are a few examples that I found that were so helpful to me in my planning. You can completely customize these to fit your needs.

My other favorite tool is Asana, which is a planning tool that gives you the ability to write all your goals down in one place, assign dates, other people, and check things off as you finish them.  I don’t know where I would be without it!  I have looked for some free versions that provide this service and I was pleasantly surprised when I found Clickup. It is a pretty powerful team planning tool that has a basic plan that is “free forever”.  Check it out, I feel like you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to create your plans.

In addition, I found this great video from our Branching Out playlist on goal-setting that I think you will find helpful when thinking about how to begin your planning.  If you haven’t subscribed to our Branching out playlist, we provide weekly videos about quick strategies that can be implemented in the classroom right away. The new season will begin in September. Subscribe here!

I am going into this new school year with a renewed sense of purpose because I know my end goals. I have been able to map out the steps that I need to take to get there! Do you have any strategies that you use to plan and set goals for the upcoming year?  Do you have ideas on planning that works for you?  Please join in the conversation by tagging us @KaneCountyROE.

Raven Szalkowski – Professional Learning Coordinator
(t):  630-762-2056
(e): rszalkowski@kaneroe.org

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