Vision/Mission/Goals
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Vision, Mission, and Goals: Eight Activities

Every teacher must envision the ideal---the perfect class working on the perfect lesson in the perfect learning environment. Striving for the ideal motivates the best teachers to create exciting lessons and to generate an inspiring classroom.  Indeed, one’s vision of the ideal often influences the unfolding of the present and drives the direction of the future.  Edgar Allen Poe once stated that when writing a short story he started with its climax and then worked backwards.  In a sense good teachers do the same with their teaching.  They envision the ideal—the perfect outcome- and then work toward it.   Teachers must convey their vision to the students, inspiring them to strive toward something better.  The best classrooms are places of hopes, dreams, wisdom, optimism, and vision.

Your envisioning will lead you to your personal mission statement and goals.  Your mission statement summarizes your job description—what you expect to do to drive toward your vision.  Your goals identify specific actions that you will achieve to fulfill your mission statement.

  Objectives

  • To envision your personal ideal

  • To articulate your vision

  • To write a personal mission statement and goals

Activity one: Reflections  Write a short answer or response to the following questions and statements.  Note: You may want to probe these questions with your mentor or a discussion group.

  1. When you think of your future as a teacher, what three adjectives come to mind?

  2. Identify those experiences that made you feel the best about your career.  How can you structure your teaching to gain more of those peak moments?

  3. In your opinion all good teachers must have the following characteristics?

  4. Imagine that you have the “perfect” class under “perfect” teaching and learning conditions.  How would your classroom and your teaching be different than it is now?

  5. How has your vision of teaching changed over the last several years?  What factors have altered your view?

Activity Two: Statements of the Ideal  Complete the five statements below:

  1. In the ideal school and classroom behavior is shaped by these three core values ______________.

  2. In the ideal school or classroom the relationship between students and teachers can be described as follows __________________.

  3. In the ideal school the relationship between professional educators can be described as _________________.

  4. Describe the motivation that drives students in the ideal classroom.

  5. In the ideal world describe the relationship of the school, business, government, and the community.

  Activity Three: Characteristics of the Ideal Teacher  Gather a group of three to five teachers and discuss the ideal teacher.  Identify key characteristics of the ideal teacher.

  Activity Four: Characteristics of the Ideal School  Gather a group of teachers and discuss the ideal school.  As an envisioning exercise, identify “ideal” professional working conditions.  Then strategize ways to work toward those conditions.

  Activity Five: Student Envisioning  Organize a group of students to have an open discussion to characterize the ideal classroom and the characteristics of the ideal teacher.  Ask the following questions:

  1. How would you change the average classroom?

  2. What personality traits do the best teachers possess?

  3. How would you design the perfect school?

  4. What values would dictate the learning environment in the ideal school?

  5. How would the role of students change in the ideal school?

  Activity Six: Metaphor  Sometimes creating metaphors can help trigger insight and vision. Discuss and extend the five metaphors below and then have several other teachers do the same thing.  Compare and contrast the metaphors. Are there any common denominators?

  • Teaching is like building a pyramid.

  • A school is like an ocean-going ship.

  • Teachers are like artists.

  • Students are like bumper cars.

  • Education is a mosaic.

Activity Seven: Scenario Select twelve different dates on your calendar dispersed throughout the school year. On each of the marked days write down a vision statement that captures your sense of the ideal teacher and the ideal school. Go back over the statements that you have previously written and make editorial comments about them—make changes where necessary. Over time you will create a vision of the ideal from which you can strengthen your professionalism.

  Activity Eight: Mission Statement and Goals  After you have done some of the envisioning activities listed above, write a personal mission statement.  Then write corresponding goals for the next month of teaching.  Keep your mission statement and goals in plain view.  Update your goals periodically.

 


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