Begin With the End in Mind

"If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow." Alfie Kohn

Begin With The End in Mind

I have a few questions that I love to ask educators at the beginning of each new year. I bet you’ve heard similar prompts in your pre-planning faculty meetings or at a district-wide back-to-school event. I typically ask them to write their responses on sticky notes or respond to a poll so everyone can share their ideas.

What is the impact you hope to make on the students you teach this year? What is the impact you hope to have on their lives?

If you had to condense your goals for your students this year into three sentences, what would they be? Would you say:

  1. I want my students to grow and learn.
  2. I want my students to become responsible and independent thinkers or gain self-confidence in math.
  3. I want my students to feel loved.

Every teacher has hopes and dreams for the year—goals that get you going in the morning and push you to keep working hard for students even when you are past the point of exhaustion.

Knowing where you want your students to be in the end provides you with a mission. The goals will help guide you in selecting activities that will align with your students’ needs, your teaching style, and the what you hope to achieve.

Consider developing a Classroom Vision. A classroom vision includes the hopes and dreams of all students and teachers for the school year—the final destination. It allows all voices to be heard and for the teacher to get a sense of each student’s personal goals.

We have provided a Our Classroom Dreams Big template where you can creatively have students provide responses to their vision for your class this year. Print off the cloud template, and ask the students to write 3-5 of their hopes and dreams on colorful strips. Have them cut out the strips, along with the cloud template, and glue the strips to the cloud. Hang your class’ Big Dreams on a bulletin board so everyone can strive to make this year great!



This article was taken from 15-Minute Focus: Behavior Interventions Workbook. This workbook is full of tons of ideas, activities, and checklists for creating a positive classroom community.

Written by Amie Dean.

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