Conversations: Do You Set Program Goals for the Year?

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We set and work on goals with our students. We should do the same for ourselves and our school counseling programs. Check out how Stephanie from Bilingual Learner, Tobin from Counselor Corner, and Leah from School Counseling is Magical set program goals as school counselors.


Do you set program goals for the year?

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Throughout the school year, I keep a running list of any changes and additions I want to make in my counseling program- I call it my “Things to Change Next Year” list. Anytime I have a revelation about something that might work better for me and my students, I write it on the list. Then at the end of the school year, I group the list (which is usually 5-10 pages long!!) into main topics like guidance lessons, groups, etc. From these topics, I am able to analyze my biggest areas for growth and make a few SMART goals from them that I focus on the following school year.

Here’s a link to my TPT store where many of the resources there first started out on this list: – School Counselor Stephanie

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Counselor CornerKeeping my goals in sight is essential to ensuring the success and growth of my school counseling program. Here is a glimpse of the format I use to set my yearly goals:


  1. Break down major focus areas into main categories (Classroom Lessons, Small Groups, Individual Services, etc).
  2. Within the category, list the objective/strategy/target (Lesson Topic, Group Type, Individual Referral Focus, etc).
  3. For each objective goal, designate a timeline for completion, list necessary ‘ingredients’ for completion, and document tool/data source/measurement for completion.
  4. Create a “Running Log” to serve as a living document to keep notes, ideas, reminders, etc; use this as an ongoing goal-setting & growth tool.

Hope you find these goal-setting ideas useful for you too! I’ve got other great organization tools at my TPT store as well: Tobin Keeth from Counselor Corner

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School Counseling is MagicalBefore planning for the upcoming school year, I take a moment to think about the previous school year went for me. I go back and look at my previous goals and the successes I had. I also think about what I wish I had done better and areas that I struggled with. Next, I use this information to make a list of programming that I want to keep exactly as it, programming I want to modify/add, and programming that I want to discontinue.

From this list, I create SMART goals for programming for the upcoming year. I like to color code. I might use one color sticky note for the goal, different colored sticky notes for the specific steps needed to reach the goal, and a third color sticky note if I need to break steps into smaller steps. Every time I complete a step, I would remove the sticky note. Once all stick notes are removed, voila! I have reached that goal. It’s a great visual for me and it keeps me motivated to continue working toward those goals throughout the year. – Leah Molloy from School Counseling is Magical


Setting program goals with School Counseling is Magical, Counseling Corner, and Bilingual Learner


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