I love a good road trip! When I set out on a trek across the country, I don’t start driving without a plan. I keep Google maps within reach and have a solid route planned with clear expectations of my journey. When things go wrong or I encounter road blocks, my map is a good tool to help me identify a new path to my destination. For me, setting both short and long-term goals that are intentional and purposeful are key to maintaining my motivation and to achieving my success. The best method for getting to where I want to go is to start with the end in mind and work backwards to establish important landmarks along the way.
Goal setting is an important skill for students to learn as well, but it’s one that is often overlooked and underappreciated. Setting out a course through middle school and high school –and onto something beyond high school –shouldn’t be that much different than mapping out a route to a destination. Let’s look at an example. Rhonda is in eighth grade. She has a 2.7 GPA and little motivation. She’s frustrated and unengaged. In the back of her mind, though, she thinks she wants to go to college. She doesn’t quite know what it takes to be eligible for either a 2-year or 4-year college. She also doesn’t know the first about how to start mapping out a plan on how to get to college— or even if college is the right option for her.
At the same time, the line at the counselor’s door is long, and her class schedule doesn’t allow her time to wait outside the door. With a national average of about 500 students assigned to one school counselor, counselors simply don’t have the time to help personalize a reasonable goal or to even help them track their progress toward that goal. There is limited room in the classroom curriculum to teach goal setting, and few-to-no tools to keep students on track to achieve those goals.
UR Turn was invented to serve as the Google maps of education planning – with caution signs, progress tracking and suggested course corrections along the way. Once a student can see progress toward their goal and realize some success, the power of the goal will become real.
Graduating from high school with a vision towards the future is a noteworthy goal. UR Turn tracks credit attainment toward high school graduation and tracks performance and behavior data that is associated with likelihood of achieving goals beyond high school.
Long-term dreams are fantastic, but shorter-term goals are easier to attain. Sometimes those steps need to be small to be manageable. UR Turn guides students through the education mile markers so that they set goals that are motivating and important to them as individuals. UR Turn is like having your school counselor on your phone at your disposal when you need help the most.