At the beginning of a course or school year, it is important for teachers to invest students in individual and broader class goals. Goals ensure that students are striving for ambitious and focused academic achievement, but if students are not invested, the goals become much less meaningful. Each group of students comes to the classroom with varying performance levels, confidence levels, and interests, making student investment a dynamic and ongoing process.
Plans to invest students may look different from one year to the next or one class period to the next. Investment cannot be done just at the beginning weeks of school, but it needs to be revisited on a regular basis and integrated into the classroom culture to be truly effective. If students are committed to achieving their goals, teachers will meet less resistance when presenting challenging content or when student interventions are needed to review material. Additionally, when students feel a responsibility for meeting goals, undesirable and negative behaviors tend to decrease (Childre, Pope & Sands, 2009).
How do I motivate students to work toward their goals?