SMART Goals for Teachers: 10 Examples [+ Free Template]

Female teacher writing on whiteboard

Teaching is a demanding profession; there’s no doubt about it. Beyond expertise in subject matter, teachers need patience, empathy, the ability to cater to diverse student needs, and more — the list goes on. The best way to achieve those important classroom components is by utilizing SMART goals for teachers. The acronym describes a checklist of criteria for setting successful goals, meaning they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Before embarking on SMART goals of your own, dedicate a few minutes to exploring the benefits and strategies associated with this method. Understanding SMART goals can empower educators like you to make meaningful progress for your students and advance your own career.

What Are SMART Goals for Teachers?

The SMART goal framework is intended to make your top teaching professional goals achievable. Each step of the process focuses on a crucial component of goal-setting:

SMART goals are useful in many different ways, across virtually every industry. In education, SMART goals can assist with a wide range of teacher responsibilities, from guiding curriculum to acquiring new skills. SMART goals for teachers are also useful for:

SMART Goal Examples for Teachers

The intent of a SMART goal can be big or small, as you’ll see in the examples below. Whether you’re aiming to enhance student learning outcomes or introduce new instructional techniques, these SMART goal examples demonstrate how to make the most of your time and resources. Use them as inspiration for your own classroom:

Student achievement and engagement

Professional development

Technology integration

Parent-teacher communication

Teacher well-being

How to Create Smart Goals for Teachers

Creating SMART goals is easier than you might think because the concept can be applied to nearly every aspect of education. Use these steps to set your own SMART goals.

  1. Identify a specific objective. Get granular about what you want to improve, for example, increasing student engagement and participation.
  2. Make your goal measurable and achievable. Instead of aiming to improve student performance across all subject areas, focus on the student performance average in science by 5%.
  3. Decide how long it will take and what resources will be needed. Can your goal be achieved in a semester, or is it wiser to utilize the entire academic year for noticeable results? Ensure access to all required resources before starting.
  4. Establish a system to garner feedback and input from colleagues, parents, students, anyone close to the objective. Regular meetings or surveys could prove to be useful.
  5. Research and select professional development opportunities, such as an online education certificate program, workships, or conferences.
  6. Put it into practice, diving into the work you’ve committed to. Implement feedback as you work through your plan.
  7. Reflect and revise as you go in order to make changes as necessary. There could be important lessons for future goal-setting, regardless of whether you meet your current goal.

Download our SMART goals template to help you stay on track >

Remember that every journey toward professional growth and student success is different, but you can optimize your efforts by implementing the SMART goals method discussed here.

The University of San Diego’s 100% online Continuing Education for Teachers certification program was created with working professionals in mind. Get inspired by other lifelong learners who are taking advantage of self-development and salary advancement opportunities today.

Curriculum covered in this article

Educator Programs – 25% Off Teachers Appreciation Sale

Valid May 1, 2024 – May 31, 2024

Some restrictions apply.  Offer valid only during sale dates. Not all courses apply.
**Only one discount can be applied per course.**

Education
2 Units
Online Self-Paced

Educator Programs – 25% Off Teachers Appreciation Sale

Valid May 1, 2024 – May 31, 2024

Some restrictions apply.  Offer valid only during sale dates. Not all courses apply.
**Only one discount can be applied per course.**

Education
3 Units
Online Self-Paced

Educator Programs – 25% Off Teachers Appreciation Sale

Valid May 1, 2024 – May 31, 2024

Some restrictions apply.  Offer valid only during sale dates. Not all courses apply.
**Only one discount can be applied per course.**

Education
3 Units
Online Self-Paced

Educator Programs – 25% Off Teachers Appreciation Sale

Valid May 1, 2024 – May 31, 2024

Some restrictions apply.  Offer valid only during sale dates. Not all courses apply.
**Only one discount can be applied per course.**

Education
1 Unit
Online Self-Paced

Get Your SMART Goals Worksheet

[FREE TEACHING TOOL]

Use our free SMART goals worksheet to help make your professional, personal and classroom goals actionable and attainable.