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Planning with meaning and purpose

Planning with purpose and meaning

In Relational Learning, planning is a significant step of the learning process. Planning might sound like a “to-do list” for the day. Still, if there is one element that educators should never forget when working with students, they are individuals with specific interests, hopes, aspirations, emotions, and goals. To remain true to the Relational Learning framework is to include this vision in the planning process.


If you want your students to find meaning in their planning, make sure to include the following elements:


  1. Emotions check-in: In Relational Learning, it is essential for students to recognize their emotions and manage them. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making are core competencies that students acquire as they become autonomous. Therefore, when students start their day, it is important to take a moment to reflect on their emotions. How are they feeling? What are they looking forward to? What are they excited about? What will make their day or week great in terms of relationships?


  1. SMART goals: Planning only works if the goals are meaningful. Students will look forward to completing their goals if they are purposeful. Therefore, it is essential to teach students to work with SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). Remember that students have their aspirations and interests and that the Relational Learning framework values them as individuals. Be respectful and supportive of their dreams but challenge them to set SMART goals so that they can measure their success in reaching them.


  1. Prioritizing: Planning is not an easy task, but students will love it if they discover that they can reach their goals. However, working with SMART goals is not enough; students must also prioritize their goals. They will become incredibly proud of their planning skills if they realize that they can reach their most important goals (if not all of them!)


  1. Reflection: When students develop their planning skills, they must also remember to include space for reflection and metacognition. They must return to their goals at the end of each day to assess if they have reached them. Working with SMART goals allows your students to have a measure of success embedded in the goals.


Students will love checking their goals off at the end of each day, which means that they will love the planning process too! When they plan their goals, students take ownership of their learning and find purpose in education, which is everything an educator can hope for.


Por Orianne Tairum, educator

       Global Field Academy

       Miami, Florida USA


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