Goal Setting Is a Valuable Tool for Faculty Professional Growth

Each year, Blair’s dedicated faculty members undertake important professional development work to hone their skills as top-notch educators. One tool that many teachers have embraced as part of this work is the writing of meaningful, authentic and growth-promoting goals.
Dean of Teaching & Learning Amanda Lucas, who joined Blair’s faculty in 2020, facilitated the goal-setting process for teachers this fall. “Setting goals represents who we are, what we are, and where we are in both our personal and professional journeys,” she said as she reflected on the importance of this professional development exercise. “Goals do not allow us the option of sitting still in our growth; they move us forward, disrupting our current path for something better.”
A veteran of education since 2005, Mrs. Lucas has taught in and chaired English departments at both middle and upper levels during her career. Having been involved in faculty goal setting at other schools, she was on a mission this year to make the goals personally meaningful to each of her fellow faculty members at Blair. She dove into the science and psychology behind goal setting and developed a plan to help teachers incorporate what they value personally into what they value professionally.
“I asked my colleagues to think about where they see themselves in their personal and professional lives 10 to 15 years from now and then consider how the things they are doing today relate to that future vision,” she said. “My hope is that this helped everyone develop more meaningful goals, as well as action steps that will help them achieve those goals.”
As it happens, the plan that Mrs. Lucas developed through her own research and instincts aligns perfectly with a new goal-setting program designed and released last fall by education professional development company Folio Collaborative. Blair’s faculty members have successfully used Folio’s online platform for several years to set individual and departmental goals, so Mrs. Lucas is pleased that her approach has complemented teachers’ work with this updated program.
Folio Collaborative highlighted Mrs. Lucas’ professional development expertise in a recent interview published in a communication to school leaders nationwide. In the interview, Mrs. Lucas shares concrete tips on getting the most out of the goal-setting process gleaned from her research and experience.
She noted that Blair department chairs often hold departmental goal meetings at the beginning of the year, and they may review those goals mid-year to check their progress or guide their future work. “Our faculty has accomplished a great deal over the years through their focus on writing down their goals,” Mrs. Lucas said. “I especially hope that with our new process, teachers will revisit their goals throughout the year and feel a sense of accomplishment when they realize just how many of their action steps they have actually completed.” 

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Blair Academy is proud to recognize two of the School’s most iconic former coaches and two undefeated, untied teams in the Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2021. This year’s inductees include former field hockey, girls’ basketball and softball coach Jan Hutchinson and former wrestling coach Tom Hutchinson, as well as the 1954-1955 football team and the 1987-1988 softball team.

Read More about Blair Honors Former Coaches & Undefeated Teams in Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2021