What Are Your Top Professional Goals as a Teacher? – University of San Diego - Professional & Continuing Education (2024)

What Are Your Top Professional Goals as a Teacher? – University of San Diego - Professional & Continuing Education (1)

Ready, Set, Goals!

Professional Goals for Teachers [Ideas, Tips & Examples]

What are your top goals as a teacher? For most educators, the list probably starts with making the most meaningful difference in the lives of your students.

Of course, there are many other professional goals shared by teachers across all grade levels and disciplines.

However, amid the demands of running classrooms and teaching those inquisitive — and, yes, often distracted — young minds, it can be difficult to find a quiet moment or two to reflect on personal and/or professional goals that might be very important to you as a teacher.

10 Professional Development Goals for Teachers

1. Becoming a Better Teacher

Top teachers understand that embracing “lifelong learning” applies to educators as well as the students. This means fueling your desire to improve throughout your teaching career, through your reading and research (such as these tips on teacher preparation and planning), as well as through teacher workshops and other opportunities.

One of the best ways to continue improving your knowledge and skills is to regularly complete educator professional development courses and programs. A great way to keep up with new trends and teaching strategies, professional development courses are available on hundreds of important topics, including:

  • Classroom Management
  • Reading and Literacy
  • Technology in Education
  • Bullying Prevention
  • And many, many more

Technology is having an important impact on how education is evolving, as teachers implement new strategies and technological tools designed to enhance student learning and to prepare them for success in today’s digital world.

Of course, technology permeates our lives in countless ways, with most modern students glued to a screen for a big chunk of each day. Fighting technology is, of course, futile; finding valuable ways to incorporate it into your classroom can make a big difference for your students.

Some teachers are finding success using such tech teaching strategies as podcasting or engaging students and parents alike with a classroom website. The article “10 Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom” references such tools as Flipgrid and Google Classroom, a free web service used by an estimated 30 million teachers and students. Google Classroom is designed to help teachers more efficiently create, distribute and grade assignments, boost collaboration, offer instant feedback and foster seamless communication, all in an easy-to-use, paperless format. For teachers who find the Google’s G Suite for Education useful, there is also the option of becoming a Google Certified Educator.

3. Advocating for Continuous Lifelong Learning

Since most educators are also passionate lifelong learners, they understand the importance of instilling that “lifelong learning” ethos in the hearts and minds of their students as well. This is easier said than done, of course, but it helps to stay mindful of these themes:

  • Mentoring students’ intellects by helping them develop problem-solving, critical- and creative-thinking skills
  • Helping them find and hone their voice by working on developing communication skills and confidence in expressing themselves
  • Inspiring students by demonstrating your belief in their abilities and providing the support they need to succeed in their academic challenges

Read about additional strategies in “8 Lesson Plans to Promote Lifelong Learning.”

4. Earning National Board Certification

Earning certification as a National Board Certified Teacher through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is a rigorous and expensive process. But according to the organization, “The evidence is clear. Board-certified teachers positively impact student learning.”

NBPTS describes the program as an “opportunity to connect professional learning with classroom practice (that) brings to life a teacher’s experience, helping them reflect on individual student learning needs” (see video).

The National Board embraces five core propositions regarding “what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do to have a positive impact on student learning.”

  1. Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
  2. Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
  3. Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
  4. Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
  5. Teachers are members of learning communities.

For one educator’s perspective on why earning NBPTS certification was “totally worth it,” check out Cult of Pedagogy education blogger Jennifer Gonzalez’s report on “Conquering National Board Certification.”

5. Sharpening Your Presentation Skills

Do you use tools like PowerPoint or Keynote to create slide educational presentations? Many teachers do, but the majority are probably no masters of this technology. Jennifer Gonzalez also draws on personal teaching experience to advocate for powering up your PowerPoint and overall presentation skills by reviewing the principles espoused in the book “Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery” (see video).

Key principles of “Presentation Zen” include:

  • Limit text on slides: “Your slides are meant to supplement your talk, not provide all the content. If you stick to just a few words per slide – the most important ones – you’ll be forced to speak to your audience, which will be so much more engaging for them.” Additional details can be provided on a handout and perhaps assigned as reading. If your presentation is compelling, students will be more motivated to read more.
  • Make it visual: “Images are incredibly powerful for making a point and strengthening cognitive processing. Anytime you can represent an idea visually, rather than just in text, your slides will actually be helping your students remember the concepts better.” Author Garr Reynolds elaborates in his “Presentation Zen” TEDx Talk.
  • Tell a story: “Your overall message will stick much better if it’s told as a story. This may be challenging at first, but once you make the decision to find the story in the content, you may be surprised.”


Download eBook: 5 Reasons Why Continuing Education Matters for Educators


What Are Your Top Professional Goals as a Teacher? – University of San Diego - Professional & Continuing Education (2)

6. Improving Classroom Management

Are your students consistently well-behaved, orderly and attentive? The answer to this question varies greatly among classroom teachers, and the methods for improving classroom management are of great interest to teachers of all grade levels and subject matter. After all, creating a more organized classroom can boost student engagement while reducing teacher stress.

Thoughtco.com offers several useful classroom management tips and suggests that the start of a new school year is the ideal time to implement any changes you may be considering. Tips include:

  • Utilize a time management tool
  • Use color-coding for visual organization
  • Implement a homework checklist and/or homework contract

Online courses on classroom management are another highly effective way to treat yourself to a fresh look at your organizational habits and find room for improvement.

7. Expanding the Role of Parents

There are many well-documented benefits to getting parents more involved in the education of their children, and no shortage of strategies for making it happen. These include:

  • Emphasizing an open-door policy
  • Encouraging parents to come in and volunteer
  • Assigning a family project
  • Inviting parents to come to a Fun Friday event
  • Assigning homework that includes family participation
  • Using technology like podcasts or a website to connect parents to the classroom

The list of benefits is long and, according to LearningLiftoff.com, applies to parents, teachers and schools, as well as to the students themselves:

  • Higher grades and test scores, enrollment in more advanced programs
  • Better school attendance and homework completion rates
  • Improved social skills and behavior
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Higher likelihood of graduation and advancement to post-secondary education

8. Finding a Mentor

Schools that have formal mentoring programs that pair veteran teachers with less-experienced counterparts have multiple benefits for both parties. Whether or not your school operates a formal mentoring program, you can always:

  • Reach out to a more experienced colleague if you are new to teaching
  • Offer a helping hand and an open ear to a younger colleague, if you have some experience under your belt

Learn more about strategies for and benefits of mentoring in the Schoolology.com post, “The Benefits & Importance of Educational Mentoring.” Beyond mentoring, per se, cultivating relationships with your teaching colleagues creates opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences, to serve as professional support networks and to increase in-school camaraderie while also developing friendships.

9. Adjusting Your Mindset

Do you dread certain aspects of your job, or are you excited and motivated to head off to school each day? Your mindset has “a powerful impact on how you experience your work and whether or not you continue to grow and thrive,” Jennifer Gonzalez writes in “Goal-Setting for Teachers: 8 Paths to Self-Improvement.”

She notes that reading is a great way to cultivate a healthy mindset, and recommends several books including “Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching” and “Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Every Day … No Matter What.”

Mindfulness is also championed by TeachHub.com in a post titled “A Teacher’s Professional Development Goals,” which suggests that focused breathing and intentioned awareness can help teachers, or professionals in any field, push out distractions and free the mind to focus fully on the task or matter at hand.

10. Taking Professional Development Courses

As a teacher, you spend many of your waking hours teaching courses — perhaps it’s time to consider taking one for a change. Educators regularly take professional development courses for a wide range of reasons, including some that connect directly to achieving the goals discussed above. Motivations include staying up to date on new teaching trends and strategies, positioning yourself for salary advancement or career opportunities, or simply following a particular passion or interest to expand your mind.

Plus, it’s easier than ever to do so now that more educational institutions are offering such learning opportunities online to provide greater scheduling flexibility for busy working teachers.

For example, the University of San Diego’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education offers hundreds of high-quality courses and certificate programs designed to motivate teachers, enhance instruction and stimulate student learning. Here are just a few of the topics:

  • Beginning Teachers
  • Educational Leadership
  • Special Education
  • English as a Second Language
  • Multicultural Studies
  • Love of Language

Courses are taught by dedicated, experienced, engaging instructors, including many from the USD faculty. The university offers so many options that you are sure to find opportunities for professional growth that align with your interests and passions as an educator.

Discover Continuing Education Courses for Teachers at USD >>

What Are Your Top Professional Goals as a Teacher? – University of San Diego - Professional & Continuing Education (2024)


What are examples of professional goals for teachers? ›

10 Professional Development Goals for Teachers
  • Becoming a Better Teacher. ...
  • Advocating for Continuous Lifelong Learning. ...
  • Advocating for Continuous Lifelong Learning. ...
  • Earning National Board Certification. ...
  • Earning National Board Certification. ...
  • Sharpening Your Presentation Skills. ...
  • Sharpening Your Presentation Skills.

What is a teacher professional goals statement? ›

What is a professional goals statement? It is a writing sample describing you at your best, your reasons for choosing the field you have chosen, your research interests, your objectives, and the unique ways you can contribute to the school where you will be student teaching.

What are the 4 main goals of effective teachers? ›

Enhancing quality learning, working for the benefit of the whole community, learning on the go, improving and maintaining their well-being, are the main 4 goals of effective teachers.

What two goals do you most want to achieve as an educator? ›

To name a few, teachers aspire to educate, to inspire, to learn and to affect positive change.
  • Educate. A great teacher should love educating students, and one of the principal goals many teachers set for themselves is to be the best educator they can be. ...
  • Inspire. ...
  • Learn. ...
  • Change.

What is an example of a professional goal statement? ›

My goal is to get promoted from sales representative to sales manager in three years or less. To do this, I plan to exceed my sales goals by 5%, attend a leadership conference and ask my manager for more tasks that I can complete to establish myself as a sales lead.

Why should teachers set professional goals? ›

Teaching is a unique profession where you have daily opportunities to impact the lives of young learners. Setting goals that inspire your work in the classroom can help shape your career growth and inspire your students.

How would you describe your goals and objective as a teacher? ›

To secure a position as a teacher and utilize my dedication to foster quality education required for a child's development.” “Develop and promote creativity and high-order thinking skills that increase the performance of the students.”

What are good educational goals? ›

Top 10 educational goal examples to try
  • Improve reading comprehension. ...
  • Practice (and master) multiplication facts. ...
  • Raise overall GPA. ...
  • Improve time management. ...
  • Make time for artistic pursuits. ...
  • Improve public speaking skills. ...
  • Sign up for extracurricular activities. ...
  • Socialize with peers.
Apr 21, 2022

What would be a professional SMART goal? ›

A SMART goal for a professional goal is one that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. An example of a SMART goal for a professional might be "To increase my sales by 10% within the next six months by reaching out to at least ten new clients per week."

What are the five SMART goals with examples? ›

SMART Goal Components:
  • Specific: I'm going to study daily so I can ace chemistry.
  • Measurable: I have monthly quizzes to evaluate.
  • Achievable: I'm good in school and can get great grades when I focus.
  • Relevant: I want to graduate at the top of my class and have the opportunity for a great career in my field.
May 23, 2023

What is your professional goal answers? ›

The best way to answer this question is to be specific and give a concise overview of the next goal you've set for your career. For example, if you're looking to move into leadership, you could say: I'm looking to become a team leader within the next five years.

What are your professional goals for the next 5 years? ›

“In five years, I see myself as an integral part of the company who has helped contribute to the growth and success of the organization. I would like to continue developing my skills and knowledge in order to be able to take on more responsibility within the company.

What are professional vs personal goals examples? ›

These goals could include lifelong objectives, such as getting married and starting a family. Professional goals relate to your education and career accomplishments, while personal goals focus on your well-being, happiness, and relationships. Professional goals typically follow a schedule that you have control over.

What is the most important goal of a teacher? ›

The ultimate goal of teaching is to promote learning. For the most part, learning takes place in many different circumstances and contexts. Although everyone is capable of learning, a student's desire to learn is a vital to mastering new concepts, principles and skills.

How can a teacher continue to grow professionally? ›

Formal settings include conferences, courses, seminars, retreats and workshops. Informal opportunities for teacher professional development include independent research or investigation, peer learning initiatives or even just chatting with a colleague in the staff room.

What are the three goals of teaching? ›

  • To nurture creative thinking. ...
  • To develop social skills. ...
  • To assist the school/ educational institution to achieve its goals is another important objective of a teacher.
  • To involve parents in their children's education.
Jun 29, 2021

How do you write professional career goals? ›

How to write a career statement
  1. Think about your passions and purpose. Your passions and purpose guide your life. ...
  2. Do plenty of research. This step won't take long if you're already clear on what you want. ...
  3. Test the waters. ...
  4. Use the SMART goal template. ...
  5. Solidify your action plan. ...
  6. Make adjustments when needed.
Oct 13, 2022

What is a professional goal summary? ›

A career goals statement is your written intention and the driving motivator behind your daily actions and habits to advance your career. Your statement of purpose serves as your professional target. Being clear about your intentions and drive helps you create logical steps to achieve it.

How do you write a professional goal? ›

Here are five tips to help you reach and achieve professional development goals:
  1. Write them. The first step is writing down your job goals. ...
  2. Share them. One of the key elements of successful goal achievement is motivation. ...
  3. See them. By this, we mean to visualize it in your head. ...
  4. Time them. ...
  5. Make them smart.
May 17, 2023

What is a good professional development goal for work? ›

Focus on goals that (1) expand your knowledge, (2) improve your communication, (3) develop your leadership skills, (4) and continually push yourself to grow. Stay relevant at work by learning new technical skills and improving your soft skills.

What is a good professional development plan for teachers? ›

An effective professional development plan for teachers should factor in elements such as: Active learning: Hands-on and interactive trainings provide teachers with opportunities to directly engage in the types of learning activities they would be implementing in their classrooms.

What is goal setting and professional development for teachers? ›

The Goal-Setting and Professional Development (GSPD) process is an ongoing, recursive process where teachers reflect on current professional practices, identify professional growth goals, establish a professional development plan to attain those goals, track progress towards goals over the course of the year, and ...

What are the visions and goals that you have for yourself as a teacher? ›

inspire a lifelong love of learning by creating lessons that are exciting, authentic, engaging, and relevant to the lives of my students. What is this? …to create visible and real change in the lives of all students in my classroom, be it cognitive, social, or personal.

What are your accomplishments as a teacher? ›

A summary of your contributions to teaching-related activities, including, but not limited to: unit co-ordination, curriculum design, lecturing, tutoring, student supervision, mentoring and supervising peers, teaching-related administrative activities, etc.

What are your short term goals as a teacher? ›

Short-term goal: A short-term objective might be providing daily opportunities for students to collaborate with one another, such as what to name a new classroom pet or making other group decisions. Another goal might be to set clear expectations for your preschool students.

What is the biggest goal of education? ›

Education gives people the knowledge and skills they need to stay healthy, get jobs and foster tolerance.

What are the four key types of educational goals? ›

This core purpose of education can be broken down into four basic purposes.
  • Personal. Education should enable young people to engage with the world within them as well as the world around them. ...
  • Cultural. ...
  • Economic. ...
  • Social. ...
  • Eight Core Competencies.
Mar 2, 2022

What are your educational goals for university? ›

Here's a list of examples of academic goals:
  • Make high scores on standardized tests.
  • Earn A's in every class for the semester.
  • Enter a gifted or honors program.
  • Get a full-paid scholarship to a highly reputable university.
  • Maintain a high GPA throughout undergraduate career.
  • Graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree.
Mar 10, 2023

What is the most appropriate example of a SMART goal? ›

An example of a SMART-goal statement might look like this: Our goal is to [quantifiable objective] by [timeframe or deadline]. [Key players or teams] will accomplish this goal by [what steps you'll take to achieve the goal]. Accomplishing this goal will [result or benefit].

What are your long term goals examples? ›

Some examples of long-term personal goals include:
  • Having a positive mindset and developing self-confidence.
  • Fitness goals like adopting a healthy diet and sticking to a fitness routine.
  • Control and manage emotions.
  • Having a work-life balance and managing stress.
Oct 31, 2022

What is a SMART goal in education? ›

The acronym SMART identifies the areas of focus in goal-setting. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented or relevant, and Time-bound. Other terms have been associated with these letters, but the Ohio Department of Education uses these. 4.

What are 2 examples of SMART goals? ›

10 examples of SMART goals
  • Specific: I'd like to start training every day to run a marathon.
  • Measurable: I will use my Apple Watch to track my training progress as my mileage increases.
  • Attainable: I've already run a half-marathon this year, so I have a solid base-fitness level.
Aug 5, 2022

What are SMART goals for training and development examples? ›

In the context of training and development, SMART goals refer to objectives that are carefully defined and designed to enhance employee knowledge, performance and skills. For example: Specific: “Improve customer service skills by 20% in 6 months.” Or, “Decrease on-the-job injury rate by 25% in the next 3 months.”

What are some short-term professional goals? ›

9 examples of short-term professional goals
  • Improve your communication skills with your coworkers.
  • Take an online course to earn a professional certificate.
  • Expand your professional network.
  • Plan out your future career change.
  • Create a portfolio that shows off your work.
Oct 3, 2022

What are your personal and professional short-term goals answer? ›

They can be as basic as making sure you get in 10 minutes early every day or keeping a clean and well-organized desk. Other direct short-term goals for work can be learning to communicate better with coworkers and customers, networking more or earning an additional professional specialization.

What are your top 3 career goals? ›

6 Common Career Goals + Examples
  • Advancing to a leadership position.
  • Becoming a thought leader.
  • Working toward professional development.
  • Shifting into a new career path.
  • Experiencing career stability.
  • Creating a career goal.
May 18, 2023

How do professional learning goals and professional goals differ? ›

Learning and performance goals are unique objectives for professionals to achieve success in their organization. The key differences are: Focus: Learning goals focus on long-term achievements, such as professional development. Performance goals focus on short-term achievements that prove your skills or competency.

How do you set goals in personal and professional life? ›

How to set goals
  • Make your goal as clear and detailed as possible. ...
  • Define how you will measure success. ...
  • Check whether your goals are achievable. ...
  • Make sure your goal is relevant. ...
  • Set a beginning and end date.
Jan 9, 2021

What is an example of an educational goal statement? ›

Educational Career Goals

I believe education to be the most important thing in my life and plan on continuing my education in a postsecondary institution. My ultimate educational career goal is to pursue a degree in Nursing, in order to achieve my life goal in providing optimal care to those in need.

How to write a statement of professional goals for grad school? ›

How to write a career goals statement for grad school
  1. Consult the prompt. ...
  2. Think about your goals. ...
  3. Research. ...
  4. Brainstorm how your target school fits your needs. ...
  5. Write your introduction. ...
  6. Mention past experiences. ...
  7. Address specifics about your target school. ...
  8. Conclude your statement.
Mar 10, 2023

What is a statement of professional interest and goals? ›

Your Statement of Professional Interest is a snapshot of you and your career interests. This makes it a crucial tool in the internship match. What's included? Your interests, internship goals, future professional goals, and skills you are hoping to gain and/or utilize.

How do you write an educational goal statement? ›

Describe your educational goals. Explain your choice of career and what qualifications, skills, and talents you feel you have for your chosen field. Include your plans for financing your education. (If necessary, you may add one additional page for your educational goals.)

What are your top 3 educational goals? ›

Top 10 educational goal examples to try
  1. Improve reading comprehension. ...
  2. Practice (and master) multiplication facts. ...
  3. Raise overall GPA. ...
  4. Improve time management. ...
  5. Make time for artistic pursuits. ...
  6. Improve public speaking skills. ...
  7. Sign up for extracurricular activities. ...
  8. Socialize with peers.
Apr 21, 2022

What are educational professional learning goals? ›

Professional Learning Goals (PLGs) are based on student learning data, performance evaluation data, and school improvement goals. The purpose of PLGs is to drive job-embedded learning for the educator.

What are the 3 important goals of education? ›

These three include: the development of rational, well-rounded individuals, the teaching of cognitive and critical thinking skills, and finally the global improvement of the quality of life. There are many other goals that should be reached, but I consider these are the three major ones.

What are some short term professional goals? ›

9 examples of short-term professional goals
  • Improve your communication skills with your coworkers.
  • Take an online course to earn a professional certificate.
  • Expand your professional network.
  • Plan out your future career change.
  • Create a portfolio that shows off your work.
Oct 3, 2022

What is the statement of educational goals and objectives? ›

Educational Goals are general statements of what the program intends to accomplish and broadly describe the kinds of learning the provider hopes participants will achieve—they describe learning outcomes and concepts in general terms.

What is a statement of career goals and objectives for graduate school? ›

What is a grad school career goals statement? A grad school career goals statement is a document that tells a grad school admissions committee what your short and long-term career goals are, why you are applying to the program and how the program will help you achieve your career goals.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Otha Schamberger

Last Updated:

Views: 6495

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Otha Schamberger

Birthday: 1999-08-15

Address: Suite 490 606 Hammes Ferry, Carterhaven, IL 62290

Phone: +8557035444877

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: Fishing, Flying, Jewelry making, Digital arts, Sand art, Parkour, tabletop games

Introduction: My name is Otha Schamberger, I am a vast, good, healthy, cheerful, energetic, gorgeous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.