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Fox Lane Middle Schoolers Learn to Set SMART Goals

 a student discusses her goals with Filner

Teamwork and goal setting were the key topics for Fox Lane Middle School’s 8 East during a recent Team Day.

After spending a few hours practicing teamwork on the ropes course (similar to their 6 West peers), Fox Lane Middle School’s 8 East reconvened in the Suzanne Grant Theater to focus on goal setting. After discussing what goals are, students were asked to create personal SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely) goals. Goal setting is also being done at a building and district level this year.

“What is a goal?” social studies teacher Erin Filner asked students.

“It’s something good that you can work toward,” a student answered.

Filner agreed.

“As a team, we need to have goals,” Filner said. “While we want to succeed as a group, we also want each one of you to succeed in your own way.”

She explained that students would be setting a personal goal and mapping out the first step to achieving it. They will be revisiting their goals every few weeks to revise or recommit to them as necessary.

“Who you are and who you want to become is really important to us,” Filner said. “If there is something you want to improve, we want to know about it. We also want you to be realistic about what your abilities are right now so that you know you can meet that goal.”

After explaining what each part of SMART goals means, students moved around the theater to find comfortable spots where they could dig in and start planning their goals.

With a little time to think, students began getting excited about their goals and trying to figure out how to ensure that they were specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

“I want to be more social,” Riley said. “I could measure it by starting conversations.”

Chase wanted to set two goals: to get better at reading and to be kinder.

“I want to read every day and try to be calmer every day,” he said. “I can try to be calmer by maybe not expressing all of my feelings and instead calming down and breathing.”

Their teachers hope they take the skills learned during their goal-setting session and continue to implement them.

“Setting and planning goals are skills that can be used in other areas of their lives,” English teacher Rhonda Doctor said. “Students enthusiastically embraced the day’s activities and we hope they learned that goals require a plan to accomplish them.”