11 SMART Goals Examples for Special Education Teachers


There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.

Being a teacher is a fulfilling and rewarding profession. One thing I learned from my time in the classroom is that you can never plan too much as a teacher. Setting realistic goals for yourself and your students is the best way to get everyone on the same page and have a basis to measure the smallest accomplishments by.

This is especially true when it comes to special education. With over 700,000 special education teachers in the United States in 2022, these professionals must have the preparation and support needed. Every day, these teachers are tasked with the challenge of helping their students reach their full potential… despite any physical, mental, or developmental difficulties they might face.

Special education is not a one size fits all approach. So, teachers need to create goals tailored specifically to their students’ individual needs while thinking of the overall classroom. Whether you have students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), learning disabilities, or other challenges, setting smart goals for them can help ensure they get the quality education they deserve.

What Are SMART Goals?

Setting SMART goals is one important way that special education teachers can measure the success of their educational plans, and ensure that they are staying on track.

So what do we mean by SMART goals in education? SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This acronym helps educators to ensure that goals are precise, achievable and measurable within a certain timeframe.

For example, simply setting a goal of having students read more isn’t SMART. However, setting a goal for students to read one book a month for the next six months is SMART!

What To Consider When Planning Smart Goals

S stands for Specific

When setting smart goals in special education, it is important to make sure your goals are as specific as possible. Goals should be clear and describe exactly what you and the student are working toward.

M stands for Measurable

Measurability is key when creating smart goals for special education. Without measurable milestones, you can’t track progress or see success. You can measure data by way of tests, surveys, observations, and other forms of assessment.

A stands for Attainable

Setting smart goals also means making sure that they are attainable. Stretch goals are great, but they should also be realistic and achievable within the specified timeframe. Remember, some special education students may be more severely disabled and require more time to reach their goals.

If a student is on the non-verbal autism spectrum, speaking goals aren’t feasible. However, you can always consider assistive technology such as adaptive computers, VOCAs, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems), and more for communication related goals.

R stands for Relevant

Smart Goals have to be relevant to the special education student and their individual needs. Relevant smart goals are contextual, and applicable to the classroom or even the student’s home or general environment. The goals can also apply to your career advancement as a special education teacher; the more you know, they more you can teach or adjust your methods.

T stands for Time-Bound

Most smart goals have a timeline, or an estimated time of completion. Time limits help ensure that there is a sense of urgency, and that smart goals are accomplished in a timely fashion.

Your time limit may be weekly, based on the school semester, or the whole school year. Some goals may be attainable daily such as a student answering five math questions correctly.

Now that you have a detailed understanding of the type of smart goals that special education teachers should strive for, let’s take a look at 11 smart goal examples!

11 Smart Goals Examples for Special Education Teachers

Setting SMART goals is an effective way for special education teachers to create objectives that will help drive student success. By creating Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Specific (SMART) goals, educators can track progress and maintain focus on the tasks at hand.

1. Increase Attendance Rate

By increasing attendance rates among students with disabilities by 10%, educators can ensure that all students are present and able to access the materials being taught.

“I will start reviewing attendance from previous semester or year to see where there are gaps and create plans to fill them. I will increase attendance rate by 10% within the next four months. I may have to confer with the administration to make sure “tardy” students were not marked late.”

S– The specific goal is to increase the attendance rate by 10% after reviewing previous attendance issues.

M– The measure for success is attendance rate. Teachers start by taking attendance daily.

A– An increase of 10% is attainable and realistic.

R– This smart goal is relevant to the special education classroom, as all students should be present and able to access the materials being taught.

T– This smart goal should be accomplished within the next four months. Four months is the average amount of time between each school semester, and should be an achievable timeline.

2. Create an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for Each Student

As a special education teacher, IEPs are a vital resource for providing each student with the proper individualized instruction they need.

“I will dedicate time to see how each student learns, and create lesson plans tailored to their unique needs. I will create an individualized education plan for each student within one month.”

S– The specific goal is to create an IEP for each student.

M– The measure for success is the completion of individualized education plans.

A– This smart goal should be achievable within one month.

R– Creating an IEP is relevant to special education, as each student has unique needs that must be accounted for.

T– Creating an IEP should be achieved within one month, as this is sufficient time to assess each student and craft lesson plans tailored to their individual needs.

IEPs are a vital resource for providing each student with the proper individualized instruction they need.

3. Increase Number of At-Risk Students Reading on Grade Level

Learning to read is a fundamental skill, and one that all students should be proficient in by the end of their elementary education.

“I will strive to increase the number of at-risk students that are reading on grade level by the end of the school year.”

S– The specific goal is to increase the number of at-risk students reading on grade level.

M– The measure for success is the number of at-risk students reading on grade level.

A– Increasing the number of at-risk students reading on grade level is attainable and realistic.

R– This smart goal is relevant to the special education classroom, as students with disabilities need extra assistance to read on grade level.

T– This smart goal should be achieved by the end of the school year, as this is a reasonable timeline for students to learn to read and become proficient. In some cases, some students may achieve this goal sooner, but the school year allows for enough time to ensure all students are reading on grade level.

4. Increase Student Vocabulary

By increasing student vocabulary, special education teachers can ensure that their students are better equipped to communicate effectively with others.

“I will work to increase my students’ vocabulary by 50% within three months.”

S– The specific goal is to increase student vocabulary by 50%.

M– The measure for success is the amount of words students can recognize.

A– Increasing student vocabulary by 50% is attainable and realistic.

R– This smart goal is relevant to the special education classroom, as students with disabilities need assistance in order to be able to communicate effectively with others. Even if students are non-verbal. teachers can use assistive technology tools to grasp student comprehension of new words.

T– This smart goal should be accomplished within three months, as this is a reasonable timeline for students to learn the necessary words to communicate effectively. This timeline also allows for review and reinforcement of previously learned vocabulary. 

5. Provide At-Risk Students with Accessible Reading Materials

Special education teachers can help at-risk students increase their reading comprehension by providing them with materials that are accessible.

“I will provide at-risk students with accessible reading materials by way of audio recordings or simplified texts within two months.”

S– The specific goal is to provide at-risk students with accessible reading materials.

M– The measure for success is the number of students who have access to reading materials.

A– Providing at-risk students with accessible reading materials is achievable and realistic.

R– This smart goal is relevant to special education, as students with disabilities may require alternative forms of learning materials in order to increase their reading comprehension.

T– This smart goal should be achieved within two months, as this is a reasonable timeline to find and provide accessible reading materials for these students. Additionally, this timeline allows sufficient time for the teacher to assess each student’s individual needs and source materials accordingly. 

6. Get Another Special ED Certification

Ongoing professional development for Special ED specialists is vital. This smart goal is relevant for all special education teachers, as it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in special education.

I will get certified within six months as a one of the following: Special Education Generalist, Special Education Administrator, Certified Disability Management Specialist, and Special Education Teacher Leader.

S– The specific goal is to get another certification within 6 months.

M– The measure for success is the successful completion of courses and exams towards the chosen certification.

A– Getting another certification within six months is achievable and realistic, providing the teacher has the necessary resources to complete courses and exams in the allotted time.

R– This smart goal is relevant to special education, as teachers need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in special education.

T– This smart goal should be achieved within six months, as this is a reasonable timeline to complete courses and exams for the chosen certification. This timeline also allows enough time for the teacher to study and prepare for exams.

7. Increase Parental Communication

Special education teachers must ensure they are actively communicating with parents and guardians. This smart goal is relevant for all special education teachers, as parents and guardians need to be informed about the progress of their children.

“Within one month, I will create a system wherein I regularly update parents on any changes or advancements of their children in the classroom.”

S– The specific goal is to increase parental communication within one month.

M– The measure for success is the number of parents and guardians that have been updated on the progress of their children.

A– Increasing parental communication within one month is achievable and realistic, provided the teacher has a system in place to facilitate communication.

R– This smart goal is relevant to special education, as keeping parents and guardians informed about the progress of their children is an important responsibility for teachers.

T– This smart goal should be achieved within one month, as this is a reasonable timeline to put in place a system for communication and contact every parent or guardian of students in the class. This timeline also allows enough time for the teacher to arrange meetings or develop a suitable system of communication.

smart goals for special education teachers examples | smart goals for special education paraprofessionals | smart goals for special education administrators
Special education teachers must ensure they are actively communicating with parents and guardians.

8. Facilitate Collaborative Learning Activities

Collaboration with other students is just as important for special education students as it is for any other student. This smart goal is relevant for all special education teachers, as it is important to nurture group dynamics and collaboration amongst students.

I will facilitate regular collaboration activities like group projects, interactive games, and other social activities within two months.”

S– The specific goal is to facilitate regular collaborative learning activities within two months.

M– The measure for success is the number of collaborative learning activities completed by students.

A– Facilitating regular collaborative learning activities within two months is achievable and realistic, provided the teacher has access to suitable resources for such activities.

R– This smart goal is relevant to special education, as collaboration is still vital to students of any and all abilities.

T– This smart goal should be achieved within two months, as this is a reasonable timeline to introduce new and engaging activities for students to work on collaboratively. This timeline also allows enough time for the teacher to plan, organize, and implement collaborative activities in the classroom. The teacher can see what works best, what the students enjoy most, and then adjust activities accordingly.

9. Implement A Positive Reinforcement System

Positive reinforcement is an important tool for special education teachers. This smart goal is relevant for all special education teachers, as positive reinforcement helps to encourage good behavior and reinforces the importance of good behavior.

“I will implement positive reinforcement through verbal praise, reward systems, or incentives within three months. The type of reinforcement I will use can vary depending on the student’s comprehension level.”

S– The specific goal is to implement a positive reinforcement system within three months. Adjust reinforcement on age, grade level, comprehension level, and other factors.

M– The measure for success is the number of students who respond positively to the reinforcement system. Teachers can also measure success in terms of the number of rewards or incentives given out daily or weekly.

A– Implementing a positive reinforcement system within three months or sooner is realistic.

R– This smart goal is relevant to special education, as positive reinforcement is an important tool for reinforcing good behavior and encouraging students to work towards their goals.

T– This smart goal should be achieved within three months, as this is a reasonable timeline to implement a system of positive reinforcement. This timeline allows enough time for the teacher to research and develop an appropriate system of positive reinforcement, as well as trial and adjust the system if necessary. 

10. Attend at Least One Special Education Conference

Staying up-to-date on special education practices is crucial for any special education teacher. This smart goal is relevant to all special education teachers, as attending special education conferences can help to keep up with changes in the field and stay informed on new research.

“I will attend at least one special education conference or seminar related to my field within the year.”

S– The specific goal is to attend at least one special education conference within the year.

M– The measure for success is attendance at a special education conference.

A– Attending at least one special education conference within the year is achievable and realistic. The teacher may have to confer with the administration for time off and or funding. There are also virtual ones that provide access to conference lectures and journals.

R– This smart goal is relevant to special education, as attending conferences can help teachers stay up-to-date on special education practices, changes in the field, and new research.

T– This smart goal should be achieved within a year, as there are several conferences in-person and online.

11. Incorporate Relevant Technology into Classroom Activities

Technology can be a great tool for special education teachers, as it provides an engaging and interactive way to teach students. Tools may include smart boards, tablets, timers, video monitoring of progress, and where budget permits – virtual reality.

“I will learn to use and incorporate relevant technology in my class by the end of the semester.”

S– The specific goal is to incorporate relevant technology into classroom activities within the semester.

M– The measure for success is the number of activities that incorporate technology. The amount of activities can vary based on budget and teacher comfort level using such tools.

A– Incorporating relevant technology into classroom activities is achievable and reasonable within the semester. Teachers will need to work with their administration to allocate a budget for technology as well as plan out activities that incorporate the technology. Tools may be as simple as timers for students with attention disorders or advanced options like virtual reality for collaboration.

R– This smart goal is relevant to special education, as technology can be an effective and engaging teaching tool for students with special needs. It also provides a way for teachers to monitor student progress or enhance lessons.

T– This smart goal should be achieved within the semester, as this is a realistic timeline to plan and prepare activities that incorporate technology.

Final Thoughts on SMART Goals Examples for Special Education Teachers

SMART goals are an effective tool for special education teachers as they provide a framework for teachers to set and measure their goals. Teachers stay focused on the most important areas of special education and keep track of their progress. SMART goals also help to ensure that goals are achievable and realistic with a timeline for completion.

Being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs, and special education teachers have even more on their plate than the average teacher. However, with solid and measurable planning, special education teachers can set and reach their SMART goals in a structured and effective way.

For more on the topic of education, check out this article with 87 Education Quotes: Inspire Children, Parents, and Teachers

Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.

smart goals for special education | smart goals for special education teachers | smart goals examples for education

11 SMART Goals Examples for Special Education Teachers



Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

BEST FITNESS DEALS
Logo
Enable registration in settings - general
Shopping cart