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Goals

One of my favorite questions to ask students is - "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

It's simple

It's old

You might hear it on Sesame Street.

It's not innovative

But I am always taken aback when they don't have an answer for me.  Sometimes, they literally have NO IDEA.  I understand if it's a K-2 student, but in my opinion, students in 3rd grade and above need to, at least, have some idea.

I wanted to be an NBA player when I was a kid.  In high school, I was a 6'3", slow, had a pretty good jump shot, could never dunk a basketball and, like my best friends to this day remind me, was never a real stud in the weight room.  It didn't take long before I realized the whole NBA thing wasn't going to pan out.  BUT, before I realized that, I had a goal.  I had something to shoot for.  I had a path, and while I didn't always stay on it, I knew where it was and I had people to help me get back on it.

What do you think kids that have no idea what they want to be when they grow up, think of school?

I bet they think the only reason they go is because they have to.  They don't realize that this is the first, second, third, fourth, etc. step to obtaining what they want.  They don't get the WHY.  WHY wake up and come here every day?  WHY do all of your homework?  WHY study your tail off for that test?

#WHY?

I like analogies.  I often have whole conversations where I realize I've only used analogies.  I own it.  Here's one I used today when speaking with a student...

When I left my house this morning, I knew where I was going.  I turn right at the light, drive a few miles, turn left at such and such street, another right, a quick left and I'm there.  Then, when the day is over, I hop back in my car and I have a destination in mind, so I take the proper route to get to where I need to be.  Then, I ask the student if they can imagine what it would be like for me if I hopped in my car but didn't have anywhere to go?  Would I just drive in circles?  Would I eventually get lost?

The point is, if you don't know where you are going, how are you going to get there?

If you don't have a destination in mind, how do you know which path to take?

This is my plea.  Talk to your students about goals.  Get them to at least start thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.  Give them a destination and set them on a path.  The rest is up to them.




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