T-TESS Thursday: Creating a SMART Goal

Making goals in your classroom?  Have you been creating goals with your students?  Creating short and long term goals at the beginning of each school year will help focus on what you would like to accomplish, and also help build positive relationships with your students.  The goals that we are going to focus on in this blog post are your 2019-2020 T-TESS Goals.

What is T-TESS?  T-TESS is the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System.  It is the teacher evaluation system for the state of Texas designed to support teachers in their professional development and help them grow and improve as educators.  

T-TESS includes three components:
  • Goal-Setting and professional development plan
  • The evaluation cycle (including: pre-conference, observation, post-conference)
  • Student growth measure

At the beginning of the year, our district has made it a requirement to submit two T-TESS goals to our appraisers for the 2019/2020 school year.  To help create your goals, let's first make them SMART goals: meaning, let's make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  Let's break down each keyword:

Goals are clear, detailed and unambiguous. A specific goal will usually answer the five "W" questions:

What: What do I want to accomplish?
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
Who: Who is involved?
Where: Identify a location.
Which: Identify requirements and constraints.

This term stresses the need for concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of the goal. If a goal is not measurable, it is not possible to know whether progress toward successful completion is being made. A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:

How much?
How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?

This term stresses the importance of goals that are realistic and attainable. While an attainable goal may stretch the goal-setter in order to achieve it, the goal is not extreme. An attainable goal may cause goal-setters to identify previously overlooked opportunities to bring themselves closer to the achievement of their goals. An attainable goal will usually answer the question:

How: How can the goal be accomplished?
What strategies will I use to reach my goal?

A relevant goal must represent an objective that the goal-setter is willing and able to work towards. 
A relevant goal will usually answer the question:

Does this seem worthwhile?
How will this positively impact students?

The fifth term stresses the importance of giving goals a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps focus efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. Timeliness is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise in an organization. A timely goal will usually answer the question:

What can I do 6 months from now?
What can I do 6 weeks from now?
What can I do today?
How will I know if I am successful?
What data/evidence will I have that I’ve made progress?

Use the Digital Form below to create your goals! Good luck!

T-TESS Goals Digital Form (Your own copy)

Thanks to +Kim Strauss for creating the form and your excellent knowledge!