Intro Pathways, New Year’s Resolutions and Goal Setting

Posted December 18, 2016

Some of our data has shown that parents and guardians are largely unaware of the different PATHWAYS that exist for our children. To this end, my goal is to write the next series of blogs, leading up to term one report cards, on Pathways, goal setting, and the important role parents and guardians play. The Pathways include school to Career/Workplace, school to College, school to University, and school to Apprenticeship. Generally, this discussion begins entering high school during the transition from grade 8 to 9, but can begin as early as Kindergarten when students begin thinking about “when they grow up, I would like to be….”

Hopefully, as a parent, you have noticed that there is a big emphasis on goal setting on report cards and in the curriculum. Students who are encouraged to set goals for their personal growth and learning, are developing one of the habits of “Highly Effective People” as touted by Stephen Covey.

To begin then, outlined below is some information on the importance of goal setting (formulating a plan of action with steps that can be evaluated). You, as a parent, can support at home by talking to your child about their goals – start with simple goals for the weekend (I would like to go for a walk to the river, help with making a supper), in sports, in chores (I will keep my room clean for a week, I will take out the garbage without being asked), in the arts or any other area of interest for your child. One of my favourite examples is when children set a goal to have a bake sale to raise money for a cause. My girls used to do a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer.

Consider the following:

“The process of setting goals allows students to choose where they want to go in school and what they want to achieve. By knowing what they want to achieve, they know what they have to concentrate on and improve. Goal setting gives students long-term vision and short-term motivation. Having sharp, clearly defined goals, which students can measure, will allow them to take pride in accomplishing those goals. They can see clear forward progress in what might have seemed a long drawn out process.”


The following is from the Growing Success document from the Ministry.

… goals are organized according to three areas of knowledge and skills: (1) student development, (2) interpersonal development, and (3) career development. The first two areas are most closely aligned with the learning skills and work habits (on the report card) and are defined as follows:

  • Student development. Students will learn to set and achieve learning goals both inside and outside school, manage their own learning, and acquire the habits and skills necessary for success both inside and outside school. As students develop the ability to understand how they learn, recognize areas that need improvement, set goals for improvement, monitor their own learning, and become independent learners, they are acquiring the basic habits and skills they will require for lifelong learning.
  • Interpersonal development. Students will learn to demonstrate self-discipline, take responsibility for their own behaviour, acquire the knowledge and skills required for getting along with others both within and beyond the school, and choose ways of interacting positively with others in a variety of situations. They will also learn about thoughtful and non-violent problem resolution, social responsibility, working cooperatively with others, and caring about others. p. 20

Think about:

How do I support my child with goals setting at home? Talk about things that your child may want and what steps they can take to get there. Help them reflect on the steps they identified. Ask them what their plan is…

For instance -I set a goal to blog every Friday at the beginning of the year…since then, I have adjusted this to every two weeks on Sunday…ideal tempered by reality. 🙂

Start small. Have a plan. (Resolutions fail apparently largely because folks do not have a plan).

For further reading on the Pathways from Kindergarten to Grade 12:

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