Vision, Mission, and Goals: Eight Activities
Every teacher must envision the ideal---the
perfect class working on the perfect lesson in the perfect learning
environment. Striving for the ideal motivates the best teachers to
create exciting lessons and to generate an inspiring classroom.
Indeed, one’s vision of the ideal often influences the
unfolding of the present and drives the direction of the future.
Edgar Allen Poe once stated that when writing a short story he
started with its climax and then worked backwards.
In a sense good teachers do the same with their teaching.
They envision the ideal—the perfect outcome- and then work
toward it. Teachers
must convey their vision to the students, inspiring them to strive
toward something better. The
best classrooms are places of hopes, dreams, wisdom, optimism, and
Your envisioning will lead you to your personal mission statement and
goals. Your mission
statement summarizes your job description—what you expect
to do to drive toward your vision.
Your goals identify
specific actions that you will achieve to fulfill your mission
To envision your personal ideal
To articulate your vision
To write a personal mission statement and
one: Reflections Write
a short answer or response to the following questions and statements.
Note: You may want to probe these questions with your mentor or
a discussion group.
When you think of your future as a teacher,
what three adjectives come to mind?
Identify those experiences that made you feel
the best about your career. How
can you structure your teaching to gain more of those peak
In your opinion all good teachers must have
the following characteristics?
Imagine that you have the “perfect” class
under “perfect” teaching and learning conditions.
How would your classroom and your teaching be different
than it is now?
How has your vision of teaching changed over
the last several years? What
factors have altered your view?
Two: Statements of the Ideal
Complete the five statements below:
the ideal school and classroom behavior is shaped by these three
core values ______________.
the ideal school or classroom the relationship between students
and teachers can be described as follows __________________.
the ideal school the relationship between professional educators
can be described as _________________.
the motivation that drives students in the ideal classroom.
the ideal world describe the relationship of the school, business,
government, and the community.
Three: Characteristics of the Ideal Teacher
Gather a group
of three to five teachers and discuss the ideal
teacher. Identify key
characteristics of the ideal
Activity Four: Characteristics of the Ideal
School Gather a group of teachers and discuss the ideal
school. As an
envisioning exercise, identify “ideal” professional working
strategize ways to work toward those conditions.
Five: Student Envisioning Organize a group of students to have an open discussion to
characterize the ideal classroom
and the characteristics of the ideal
teacher. Ask the
would you change the average classroom?
personality traits do the best teachers possess?
would you design the perfect school?
values would dictate the learning environment in the ideal school?
would the role of students change in the ideal school?
Six: Metaphor Sometimes
creating metaphors can help trigger insight and vision. Discuss and
extend the five metaphors below and then have several other teachers
do the same thing. Compare
and contrast the metaphors. Are there any common denominators?
Teaching is like building a pyramid.
A school is like an ocean-going ship.
Teachers are like artists.
Students are like bumper cars.
Education is a mosaic.
Seven: Scenario Select twelve different dates on your
calendar dispersed throughout the school year. On each of the marked
days write down a vision statement that captures your sense of the
ideal teacher and the ideal school. Go back over the statements that
you have previously written and make editorial comments about
them—make changes where necessary. Over time you will create a
vision of the ideal from which you can strengthen your
Eight: Mission Statement and Goals
After you have done some of the envisioning activities listed
above, write a personal mission statement.
Then write corresponding goals for the next month of teaching.
Keep your mission statement and goals in plain view.
Update your goals periodically.
Development Activities (Select a category listed below)