Lifelong Learners establish personal goals as a natural piece of their daily survival. Goals are what help them identify who they are, provide a platform for learning, push them forward, and allow for opportunities of growth. Personal goals also anchor our focus, give intentionality to our days, open doors for feedback, and have potential to send inspiration into the world.
I consider the sharing of goals a personal decision. It takes courage to move through the learning process. A safe and supportive learning environment is required to support growth. Sharing knowledge, ideas, and resources requires less personal risk and is how previous accomplished goals grow into inspiration for others. But sharing the layer of how information directly affects our goals opens a window into your personal world. That is the piece that requires trust.
I personally count on my goals to guide my journey; my adventure that unfolds each day. Learning goals, though, are something I hold dear. I am a very open book, and most often an overly exuberant person who shares loudly with the world. However, when it comes to the sharing of my personal goals and growth I protect my own learning by ensuring I am sharing in a safe environment full of passionate learners. So often I hide this piece of me, keeping my personalized learning journey close to my heart.
I articulate my goals to those I trust and respect to provide me with effective feedback. I am very thankful for the people in my life that listen intently to my goals, offer insight and evidence of my progress, provide honesty in how to further improve, and support me with resources and ideas to keep my goals alive.
We want our students to identify with goals that drive their learning. Goals that help them raise the bar for themselves. Goals that will help them reach beyond the rainbow. But we must ensure that an environment is established that supports learning challenges, personal reflection, and progress towards these goals. Solid relationships are the foundation from which we take the risk to fly, because these relationships will also be the cushion that supports our potential fall from great heights.
Before pushing your students to share their personal goals, make sure the environment in which they open up to supports their whole heart.