Vision boards have long been trendy on Pinterest and around the water cooler at work, but they have a place in schools, too! There’s something about the way students’ eyes light up as they sift through magazines, newspapers, and online images to curate their poster boards. There's something in the way their smiles broaden when the finished product is displayed in the classroom, in the school’s hallways, or even just at home; it really motivates them and helps them see that their dreams are possible.
But what happens after the vision board has been posted, the presentation on students’ prophetic vision is delivered, and the compliments are conveyed? What’s the next step? How can we hold students accountable? I’ve found that there are several ways to teach our children the art of planning for their futures.
1. Make the Vision S.M.A.R.T.Or specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. It may be a good idea to have a vision for them to reach by the end of the school year. Alternatively, if the S.M.A.R.T. goal is long-term, the students should have reached a major goal by the school year’s end. Setting SMART guidelines can ensure students aren’t over-extending themselves or undermining their own efforts with visions that are far-fetched or not well thought-out.
2. Create a Checklist with Firm TimetablesHaving students keep a checklist of specific things to do at certain checkpoints will help them track their progress toward their final destination. Students should view their checklist at least once a week to see where they are in reaching their short or long-term goals. Each time they check off a task, they should be able to verbally explain the process, challenges, and successes. They will notice if they are not meeting deadlines or if they are ahead of schedule.
3. Have Monthly Check-ins
4. Bring in Motivational Speakers
5. Pair Up Peer Partners
Remember: if there is no plan, a vision board is just a cute assignment; a dream. But there is nothing like seeing a dream come true.