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Cook teachers foster goal-setting, reflection

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 12:22 PST, Fri February 26, 2021

Thinking outside the box, two teachers at Cook elementary school are working on a goal setting project with their Grade 2 and 3 students this year.

Teachers Erin Hodder and Erica Gallagher explained that the project is intended to help build identity and personal growth during an unusual year. Their classes began working on the project in the fall, and return to their goals weekly to check in.

“Because of the uniqueness of this year, we set out to build community, belonging, social-emotional learning and celebrating our individual and community identities,” says Hodder.

At Cook, students focus regularly on Cook Cares Circles, where they discuss ways to care about themselves, each other and the place they’re in. For this project, Gallagher and Hodder encouraged students to explore individual identities, strengths and characteristics.

“We looked ahead into the year and set goals and intentions to focus our daily learning,” says Gallagher.

The teachers asked guiding questions: what would you like to practice, and what do you want to get better at? Students came up with individual goals, including “cooperation,” “imagination,” and “problem solving.” 

The year-long project involves assessing and rebuilding goals at the end of each term, and Hodder and Gallagher are hoping to foster personal growth in their students, as well as helping them become confident in “goal-setting, self-reflection, self-advocacy and community support.”

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