How Teachers Can Help Pupils Achieve Their Goals

In my opinion, motivation is a huge part of education nowadays. If a child isn’t motivated or inspired to do well at the beginning of their education, their ambitions to  progress into further education and  a fulfilling career may never develop

Goals are a great motivator within any activity; otherwise they can sometimes appear pointless to the participator, for example an athlete wouldn’t run without having a goal distance or time, and a business wouldn’t start up without a goal for how much profit they wanted to make.

With this in mind, here are some ways in which teachers can inspire their pupils to aim high, by setting smaller, achievable goals.


A great method of goal setting, which could be used by teachers in order to motivate their students, is introducing the concept of ‘SMART’ targets. SMART targets are goals that include Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed aspects. For example, a non-SMART objective would be; “I will revise more for my French exam. To make this SMART, the teacher should encourage the pupil to make it more specific by saying how many hours of revision will be done and how can the success of increased revision time be  measured. Clearly, in this case, the measurable aspect will be the result of the exam or test.

The objective should also be achievable and realistic for the pupil to attain. This is why the students themselves should be the ones who  create their own objectives and goals, with a little of your help along the way. The pupil has to be able to have an aspect of control in the target making process, in order to feel responsible for their achievements. So don’t try pushing them into goals they can’t commit to, allow them to come up with the targets themselves.

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The final aspect is to put a time limit on the goal, whether progress will be measured over a long, medium or short time span.
Medium-term goals specifically work as  a bridge between short and long-term goals because long-term goals can seem really daunting to pupils at first.   A medium-term goal can therefore  take the pressure off and might be something like, read 10 books by the end of term, in your own time, in order to improve your reading comprehension.

Teaching children how to create SMART objectives will be very useful for their future employment as they will not be scared of receiving long-term company goals. They will have a better understanding of  how to break targets  down into short and medium-term goals, to make the long-term challenge seems more manageable.


Working with incentives in children’s younger years can help them in their future employment with working towards deadlines, which may involve bonus schemes or even with working in retail towards a commission. A simple incentive scheme, such as a reward chart, is a great for teachers to introduce a goal-led system into teaching.

You could try a Free Class Management Toolsuch as a reward chartin order to help you to motivate your pupils.

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