As the year (and decade) are winding down, I have been doing a lot of reflecting, and as many people do around this time of year, I have made a new year’s resolution. Since I’m a teacher and I ask my students to set goals, more specifically S.M.A.R.T. goals, all the time, I thought it was about time that I started asking myself to do the same thing. For reference, a S.M.A.R.T goals is a goal that is…
Well, the smartest part of my goal was that I decided to share it with my students. I knew I wanted my resolution for 2020 to be S.M.A.R.T., but I also wanted it to be more meaningful than many of my past resolutions like, “Work out more!,” or “Drink more water!” I wanted my goal for the upcoming year to be something bigger than me, something that reached others, which led me to come up with this: Do more volunteering/charity work. I refined this larger idea into this S.M.A.R.T. goal:
I will volunteer my time/resources or do work with a charity at least once per month for the 12 months of 2020. Sounds good, right? Well, yeah, but who is holding me accountable?
This is where my students come in…
Since I decided on this resolution in the beginning of December, I figured, why wait until January to start? I shared my resolution with my students and asked them to help me achieve my goal. So, we brainstormed what to do for December and eventually came up with this: As a class, we collected travel-size personal items and used them to create kits to donate to NYC’s The Bowery Mission, which is a nonprofit organization who distributes these kits to homeless people in the community who are in need of these items.
Ok, December 2019, check. I felt great, the students felt great, and I kept my resolution (well, for the first month). Many of my kiddos have already asked me what we’re doing to keep my resolution for January.
So, my point is: If you have a goal, involve your students & let them help you achieve it! Why?
- Kids will remind you over and over again! They will not let you forget. They might forget what page they’re supposed to read for homework, but they will not forget something like this. You wouldn’t want to not follow through with your word, right?
- It sets a good example! Whether your goal is service-oriented, fitness-oriented, lifestyle-oriented, or anything else, showing consistency and follow-through on a promise that you make to yourself is an amazing thing to model for children.
- It is a learning & growth experience for all! Participating in volunteer and charity work will teach the kids about a variety of subjects and topics, which can be weaved straight into the academic curriculum. Win-win!
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, & S.M.A.R.T new year!