Earlier this week during the study period at school, a student asked me what I was working on now. “Like winning the Nobel Prize or something,” she said. At first, I considered this a frivolous question from a student who is really focused on a career in science. “Of course I’m not working on winning a Nobel Prize,” I thought to myself. However, that question stuck with me and forced me to contemplate the first part of the question. What am I working towards? Am I just coasting through life with no goals? From the first of school through graduation from college and getting a job, I had goals planned out for me. Make good grades; graduate high school; get a college degree; get a job. Have I now arrived at a place in life that is “post-goal,” a place where goals aren’t needed?
At every stage of life, it’s important to have goals. Without goals, we stagnate and become blase or ineffective. My goals just look a little different now. So what goals do I have?
- One goal is to be a positive influence on my students every day. I believe that students need more from me than just the content that I’m supposed to teach. I want to be a force for “good” in their lives. This goal requires that I bring my best for them every day.
- Another of my goals is to help teachers be the best that they can be as they seek to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I have been given opportunities to work at the local, state, and national level on this, and I’m excited about those possibilities.
These goals are rather nebulous and without specific endpoints. This means that I’ll be working towards them for quite a while. Maybe I need an action plan for each; I’m not sure. What I do know is that I need to keep those goals in front of me daily so that I remember where I’m headed.
What are your professional goals for this year?