How a tutor can help set realistic goals

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

In schools there is a keen focus on setting academic goals, though there can also beencouragement towards setting interpersonal goals or goals related to emotional resilience. What is important, however, is to understand how nurturing effective goal-setting behaviour from a young age can shape the rest of your child’s life. By knowing what they want to achieve, students know what they have to concentrate on and improve.

In a classroom with students of varying needs and with a limited amount of time to work with each of them, a teacher is sometimes hard-pressed to develop individual goals for each student. Your child could be relegated to achieving the stock standard goals for the whole class. This is where a tutor can help change your child’s life.

Create long-term vision and short-term motivation.

Tutors can help set goals that are focused on bettering the overall academic prowess of your child, but also, goals that are realistic and achievable. Having sharp, clearly defined goals with a plan towards achieving them, which students can measure, will allow them to take pride in accomplishing those goals. Teaching students how to set goals can be divided into three parts: first, students set realistic goals, then a step-by-step action plan is developed to help them attain their goals, and finally, students then reflect on their progression towards reaching their goals.

Why is teaching students to set realistic goals so important? If a child normally gets Ds in maths, then it may be overwhelming to suddenly be pushing for an A. The fear is that a child who makes an unrealistic or poorly defined goal will not be successful and then feel disappointed in their perceived “failure.” If a student receives Ds in maths, then it is probably more attainable to first try to achieve a B on the next maths test and then work towards the A after that.

Plan the work. Work the plan.

Once tutors have worked with students to set a realistic goal, the next step is to develop an action plan that makes the goal more achievable. A realistic plan does not not only include a set timeline and end date, but also “mini” goals to reach along the way. Finally, students are to reflect upon their journey and whether or not they achieved their goal. It is important to discuss with students that not everyone may reach their goals—this may be due to lack of effort, difficulties along the way, or circumstances beyond their control. The important thing is that they are accountable for their actions, and they shape their own journeys.

Too often, students only focus on the end point instead of considering the entire journey. The key lesson for students is that determination, hard work, and reflective thought is needed in order to recognise an area for improvement and actively work to accomplish a change. This helps them develop a more positive attitude towards any challenge that life might throw their way.

At Grace Simpkins Personal Tutors, your child is being set up for the future they want. With one-on-one tutoring, you can ensure that your child is getting the guidance they need to live out their potential. Contact us now to find the best tutor for your child, and set them up on a path to success.