By Stacy Sweetalla, WATG Board
As we approach a new year, most people are setting personal goals. This is a great opportunity to teach your child how to set goals for themselves, as well as how to monitor and review the goals they set. Richard Cash states, “When working with students, what’s most important in the goal-setting process is the level of commitment the student has toward the goal.” Goals needs to be relevant to students’ lives, including their academic level (Cash 2018). By setting goals, students “…tend to be more self-energized, motivated, and directed toward being successful. With each goal attainment, students develop greater self-efficacy and confidence” (Cash 2018).
Richard Cash suggests not just setting a SMART goal, but setting a SMARTS/S goal. This additional “S” or “Strategies to Success” helps students plan HOW to achieve their goals, and would be something great to teach gifted children at a young age! In case you are not familiar with the basic SMART goal framework, we will go over what each of the letters mean:
The S/S in SMARTS/S stands for Strategies to Success. It is important that children know what strategies to use in order to help them gain success. “Typically, young gifted students learn strategies quickly, without a great deal of repetition or practice” (Cash 2018). Therefore, it is important that we teach children how to refine different strategies to work in a variety of situations, as well as how to use multiple strategies to find one that works best. This can especially help children when they encounter a more complex task as they get older.
So, remember, when you go to create a goal with your gifted child this New Years, stick with the SMARTS/S goal framework. Help the child see and understand the steps to not only making goals, but also accomplishing them.
Reference: Cash, Richard M. “SMART Goals for Gifted Students.” Free Spirit Publishing Blog, 4 Jan. 2018, https://freespiritpublishingblog.com/2018/01/04/smart-goals-for-gifted-students/.