In part one of “Goal Setting,” we surveyed the whole child and quantified “unquantifiable” student progress using a simple file card. Today, we shuffle the deck and apply a straightforward evaluation/change process to your learning business.

It’s nearing the end of the first semester. Far enough along to pull out the binoculars, peek at what’s working best in your ed-biz or homeschool and decide where you’re headed for the next six months and beyond.

Where am I going?! What am I doing?

Hindsight Really is a Terrific Teacher: The 6 W’s 

Eons ago, during my corporate days, I debriefed major projects with an honest assessment of the 6 W’s – “What Went Well/What Went Wrong.” Everyone involved in the newly-completed assignment shared their perspectives on the positives and negatives of project planning and execution during a candid brainstorming session. Invariably, excellent improvement ideas popped up that we integrated into future efforts. 

woman placing sticky notes on wall
Photo by Jason Goodman / Unsplash
Even if you are the only one in the room assessing the good, the great and the ugly, the principle is the same. What’s going well in your ed-biz? What needs improvement? Evaluate each aspect of your business or homeschool.

Now…here’s the scary step. Ask constituents for their honest feedback. Employees, students’ parents, consultants, supporters, your learners…all can help identify current strengths, as well as potential enhancement opportunities in your teaching trade.

Use their constructive input to identify spheres of significance, where changes are likely to produce the biggest bounce for each effort ounce.

Draw a Pyramid

After you have spotted your spheres of significance, choose one change goal. Only one.

white and red arrow sign
Photo by Marcel Eberle / Unsplash

Then draw a pyramid like the one below.

pyramid under blue sky during daytime
Photo by Eugene Tkachenko / Unsplash

Okay, your pyramid doesn't have to be quite so ambitious. It could be more colorful like this...

purple and pink triangle illustration
Photo by Michael Dziedzic / Unsplash

Pencil in your goal at the tippy top of the pyramid. On the next level, list a couple of broad milestones required to hit that goal. Then, figure out action items leading toward each milestone. Finally, assess if you require new competencies or knowledge to underpin the change pyramid.

Keep it simple! One change at a time. Multiple simultaneous changes dilute your focus and diminish the ability to accurately measure which change created the biggest upward bounce.

Alternatively, create a pyramid for each student. Pick one desired change per learner, per academic year, then map out the road to get there. As you plan action items, concentrate on specific tasks you can do to improve the situation, instead of creating a list of things your learner “should” do.

As you whiz along knocking new action items and milestones out of the park, thoughtfully adjust plans in response to dynamic ed-biz or learner needs. Whether you are an edupreneur or an eduparent, working with students is like peering through a kaleidoscope. Just as one colorful pattern starts to emerge, it transforms into another!

Roll with the inevitable, periodic shifts! Keep calm and teach on.

edTonomy for education entrepreneurs
Photo by Noë Baeten / Unsplash

Have you successfully created changes in your ed-biz or homeschool? Do you have a unique business evaluation and goal-setting process? Join the conversation – we’d love to hear about your recent triumphs or challenges below!

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