Tony Gurr

Posts Tagged ‘“HARD” Goals’

Why “SMART Goals” are just “plain DUMB”…

In Classroom Teaching, Educational Leadership, Quality & Institutional Effectiveness, Teacher Learning on 30/12/2012 at 2:46 pm

…especially for TEACHers heading into…

2013 (new year)

The New Year is “nigh”…and my inbox has been filling up with notifications to check out the latest “Top 10 List of 2012” and…a few, just a few, posts on best practice in “goal-setting” for 2013.

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OMG (TG ver 4 blog)

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I say only a “few” posts on goals and targets because…well, it seems more than a few of us are more interested in “looking back” than “looking forward”. Maybe, that’s all part of the “quiet reflection” needed to get us to the “effective action” that Peter Drucker (and Shelly Terrell) were talking about this morning.

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Both Shelly and Uncle Pete are right – we can all “grow through REFLECTion”

but...

…it is “looking forward” and the “effective action” we plan for 2013 that is the key.

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This is why I was so keen to look at these posts on “goal setting” – especially, all that “SMART goal-setting” EDUfolk are talking about.

Now, if you are not up-to-speed on goal-setting – it’s all about PLANNING.

Horrid word!

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But, in practice, many supporters of “goals” also try to flog their wares by telling us that the process of goal-setting allows us to:

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…while also reminding us that:

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Funny that! None of my dreams (ever) come with a deadline

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The “SMART” version of goal-setting is all about doing that PLANNINGRIGHT”!

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Yani, if you do not “plan RIGHT”…you are “plain DUMB”!

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Am I really? Shirously? You’ll be “asking” for something soon…good luck with that!

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SMART is an acronym (an acronym we, in EDUcation, “borrowed” from the world of “busyness”).

“Busyness?” – yes, just hold that thunk for a second or three!

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…an acronym that is more fully spelled out in this way:

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OK – …the “realistic” is often swapped around for “relevant” (and “time-bound” is frequently selected over “timely“)…but that’s just the small stuff we do not need to “sweat” too much!

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Some “smartyER pants” have even done this:

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…but you get the “BIG picture”‘ yes?

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Ne se…the “logic” goes like this: if we develop our goals or targets in line with the letters of this lovely little acronym, we will all become more “productive”more “effective”more “successful” (mış mış, yani)!

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For example, these are not  SMART goals:

  • I will endeavour to ensure that I LISTEN to my kids and help them all “love” LEARNing in all its wonderful shapes and forms!
  • I am gonna make sure that I “really, really” LEARN my kids how to SPEAK…this semester…in just 15 hrs!

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Actually, on second thunks – that 2nd thunk “is” pretty SMART!

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BUT…it is goals like this that really get an EDUmanager’s juices “flowing”:

  • I will hit my weekly pacing guidelines EVERY day and ensure 97% of my kids pass their weekly grammar tests – and go on to ace the end-of-year proficiency examination (at the end of the year, yani)!

OK – the language might be a bit “off”but the warm, tingly sensation that this SMART goal will give “rise” to will stick around longer than…

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RUBBISH!

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…it simply does not work as the “manual” outlinesespecially for TEACHers!

And, to add insult to injury…ends up being nothing more than “busywork” (..makes sense now, yes? Even if it was not just a couple of seconds) handed down from EDUmanagement to EDUpractitioners that, more often than not, allows the aforementioned manager to “tick” a box somewhere!

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I mentioned Pete Amca earlier…for a reason…two…actually:

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…He was a lot SMARTer than many EDUmanagers these days – especially those that “read-a-book-and-tell-the-world” – or (worse) – “read-a-blog-post-and-jump-without-thunking”!

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This is why I “dropped” this whole idea of “SMARTness” in my goal-setting a few years back.

Nowadays, I sez this:

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A wee idea I “stole” from Mark Murphy – another “business” (not “busyness”) guy!

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Scary?

YES (red exlam tilted)

Not at all!

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Go onhave a “guess” what this little acronym stands for (don’t scroll down)!

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I said…DON’T SCROLL DOWN! I asked nice

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Now, check it with your “team” (or online PLN)…you have 3 minutes!

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Isn’t that first one so much better than “specific”?

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I won’t mention “measurable“…promise! But, that “animated” one sounds kinda cool, too. Click HERE to take a closer look at all the others.

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We all know that…

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Don’t we?

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We also “know” that:

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TEACHing and LEARNing

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…despite the fact that many of our institutions are doing their bestest to knock the “challenge” out of what we “do” – and the “creativity” of those that we do “it” with!

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This is why we need to bring the “H” and “A” together with the “R” and “D” – in all we do…especially in any goal-setting we might do for 2013-14!

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LEARNing Monkey (Abigail Adams quote TG ver)

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I think this is why I like Shelly’s (no….did not forget her) “30 Goals Challenge for EDUcators” – take a look…not a SMART goal in sight…but lots of “dreams”lots of “inspiration”….and….lots of the RIGHT things to “do” across 2013…and into 2014, too!

Yes…some of them are “hard“, sure…but the HARDer the BETTER!

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Thank You (road sign)

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This is (probably) the last post of 2012 for moi…yes, Nazli Hanim (aka the “missuz”) has just confirmed this!

So it is probably the right time to THANK YOU ALL for your continued support of allthingslearning…but, more importantly, to wish YOU and YOURS…nothing but the BEST as we step into 2013!

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Keep up the good fight!

If we DON’T…who WILL?

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