As I begin my ‘school year’ I have been thinking about my goals for this upcoming year. This led me to thinking about goal setting as it relates to our students. I have written about goals and keeping track of IEP goals here, but today I wanted to take it a step farther and talk about involving your kiddos in their own goal setting. This conversation may look very different, depending on the age and cognitive level of your kiddos, however, it can be beneficial to include the student’s perspective in goal setting, regardless of these factors. Not only will kiddos be more aware of the goals that they set themselves (with your guidance, of course) but they will more than likely be more invested in these goals. This is also a good exercise to identify academic impact from the perspective of the student. Some points that you may want to include when talking about speech goals with your students include (although you may use different wording):
- What do you want to improve on in speech/language? Why?
- What things do you struggle with in the classroom? How can we address and improve these things as they relate to speech/language?
- What is an attainable goal for the year? (This might include a discussion of long term vs. short term goals)
- What subskills are required to accomplish these tasks?
- Reflect on progress made over the past year. Have those goals been met? What factors contributed to meeting or not meeting those goals?
- Students may be able to give you input about what types of teaching and activities help them the most. This information may be helpful when you’re filling out the ‘Specially Designed Instruction’ section of the IEP.
Do you currently include student perspectives when setting IEP goals? If so, what information do you find helpful and how to you gather this information? Have you had a situation or can you think of a time when student perspective should not be included?