Self-improvement is something that all of us can undertake, and with the new year upon us, a lot of people are looking to make resolutions and set goals to improve themselves and their lives. Students are among this group of people who set new goals for themselves to attain in the new year and this is why teachers at Rocketship Education understand the importance of cultivating and fostering these goals, or even just encouraging their students to set goals and strive for them.
A commonly heard phrase around this time of year is “New Year, new you.” While teachers at Rocketship Education don’t think you need to go quite that far, they do agree that this is a good opportunity to set and jumpstart your progress towards future goals. This is the time of year that a lot of people — whether students, teachers, parents, etc. — are looking for ways they can improve themselves. A lot of efforts people can undertake will have positive impacts on many different aspects of their lives.
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to become healthier. While younger students aren’t likely to have as many problems with maintaining a healthy weight, it is important that they cultivate healthy lifestyle habits as this will help them do better in school and give them a better foundation for their future. Teachers and staff at Rocketship Education understand the complex interplay of a wide range of factors on learning outcomes, which is why resolutions to drink more water, get more sleep, and to eat healthier, can also translate into an easier time focusing in the classroom, as well as improved cognitive outcomes for the student.
Another goal that many Rocketship Education teachers see among their students is a desire to improve their grade point average or to just bring their grades up in general. These two are incredibly good goals for students to have and to strive for. The job of the educator at this point is to foster healthy habits that will make these goals easier to attain for the student. Good study habits, critical thinking skills, and one-on-one help any time a student is struggling are just a few ways that educators can help to foster these traits that will help the student reach their goal of better grades.
It can be a good idea to bring up the concept of setting realistic goals in class as it can help students brainstorm and look inwards to find areas that they can improve upon. One thing that a lot of students have a problem with is procrastination. Putting stuff off until the last minute means that the work doesn’t get done nearly as well and the student is under a lot of stress and pressure, whether self-imposed or not.
This means that one of the goals that can really help students is to not put off their homework or other school projects until the last minute. It is important that Rocketship Education teachers instill in their students that not only is this easier in the long run, but that it will also serve the student better in terms of learning outcomes, as a lot of research indicates that cramming at the last minute is a really poor way to actually retain information. When a student crams, the store the information in their short term memory. It is not internalized and synthesized and this is often forgotten as soon as the student completes the assignment or takes the test.
There is never a bad time for students to set small, attainable goals for themselves, as well as big dreams for their future, but the new year presents a unique opportunity for educators to encourage their students to look inward and find ways that they can improve their studies, their grades, and themselves. Educators at Rocketship Education understand the impact these efforts can have on their students in both the short and long-run.
Encouraging the students to have confidence in themselves and their abilities, and to believe that they can attain the goals they set for themselves are important life lessons for kids and will help them both inside and outside the classroom. Teachers are given an incredible opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of the students they teach and helping them set and reach their goals is just another way that teachers can make the most of this opportunity.
It should be noted that goals can be daunting for some students as there is a real fear of failure. This is why setting attainable goals is so important, otherwise the student is going to set themselves up for failure. It is up to the educator to help the student make realistic goals that they have the ability to achieve, as this will ultimately help their self-confidence and make the larger dreams much more possible.