Clear shared goals enable achievement and cooperation
If a student is identified as a 'frequent flyer' or in need of substantial
support and on-going monitoring
1. They should be receiving everyday support
2. They should have a main goal
3. The goal should be positive
3. Everyone (staff, student, family) should be able to understand the goal
5. It should be useful to all concerned in measuring progress
Goals are about outcomes:
- things the student will be able to do, that will
- contribute to his/her success and well-being now and in the future.
- "J to manage difficult situations successfully " focuses on achieving success and well-being rather than "Control
temper" which focuses on reducing failure. A subtle but important
- Similarly "J to cooperate promptly with proper instructions
& requests" is more specific and might be better than "Modify behaviour".
It also indicates a measure of progress (how promptly J cooperates.
Some ISPs are monitored daily and recorded weekly. In most cases this
monitoring should be undertaken in relation to the goal. For example, if the
goal is about attendance ("At school, on time and ready for work") then these
are the three things being measured. The record might be
Fri 26/6 W=332A3 Often arrived late but
much better organised most days
Working WITH students ON achieving the goal
Many students don't really understand what the school is trying to do and
how. Perhaps the best way to rectify such situations is to work ON the goal WITH
the student (and family...)
- setting the goal
- finding ways it can be achieved
- monitoring progress
It works best when the teacher can lead the conversation as
coach with discussion points like:
- what makes situations difficult, when and where
- what success means in different situations
- whose success and well-being is important
- when difficult situations have been difficult but
managed (success to be celebrated),
- recognition of some success in the midst of some
- what was the difference (and how this can be useful in
- changing the balance between success and failure as a
measure of progress
- when it is OK even important to be angry
If you are good at trouble shooting and keeping the peace then you may be
poor at goal setting!!
Our preferences and hopes often make it difficult to
identify the goal:
- 'trouble shooting' teachers tend to go straight to
problem ("Stop aggressive behaviour")
- 'therapist teachers' tend to go to the treatment
("Arrange anger management")
When the shared goal is really "Full participation in all classes"
it opens the door to collaborative troubleshooting, 'therapy', planning,
celebration.... But it all takes practice.
It can be helpful to use an approach like:
"If J's problems were magically removed overnight, what difference
would we notice tomorrow? "
Make a list of your answers and choose the most significant item that you can
Worth thinking about? I think so. Consider the boy at one Launceston primary
who initially was a 'frequent flyer' (10 -15 incidents per week). Eight weeks
later he had not been involved in an incident for two weeks. The reason: the
school and the student had been setting weekly goals and monitoring progress.
Consider the return on the time and energy invested.
Another version of broken windows.!!
Note that there are two places in the Planner where you can specify a goal for student:
Firstly, in main Student Record (as above): this goal is intended to be the
- supporting the student
- monitoring progress
- shaping the main efforts and
responses of the school, the student and the student's family.
That is, this goal is the main
Example: the main goal may be "Full participation in all
Secondly, in an Agreement: this secondary goal may
be the same or it may be more specific
Example: the goal of the agreement may be "Arrive at school
on time everyday" or "Manage medication as prescribed".
The agreement will spell out who will do what in achieving this specific