man running through finish lineAs educators, we have all created goals, for our students, teachers, classrooms, selves, and schools. Often, we have created SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely), and now, Jim Knight helps us take a step further by developing goals that are also compelling.  In his book, Focus on Teaching (2014), Knight introduces the idea of PEERS goals which he says are “compelling, specific, measurable goals based on student achievement, behavior or attitude.” What exactly does PEERS mean?  A PEERS goal is:

Powerful – It is socially significant in the lives of children.

Easy —  It takes the shortest, quickest path to get to the goal.

Emotionally Compelling — Stakeholders care A LOT about this goal!

Reachable — We can get there!

Student-focused —  The Why, or how it impact students and student outcomes, is clearly evident.

Knight reminds us that goal setting is a ‘delicate dance’ and each educator must personalize goals to their students’ needs. However, he provides us with scripting questions to use when educators are collaboratively developing goals, that help educators visualize the desired change and ensure reflection on what they are teaching and what their students are learning.

If you and your colleagues are working on setting goals, you find this book an invaluable resource:  Knight, J. (2014). Focus on Teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.