Self-Reflection & SMART Goals Help From Your Union

Self-Reflection and PDP SMART Goal

ATF is your professional union and we want to help you maneuver through the evaluation process so that you can demonstrate your excellent, creative teaching to your principal and the NM PED. We asked Ree Chacon from our professional development team what advice she has for teachers who are working on your Self-Reflection and writing PDP SMART Goals. Ree is available to help individuals work on these topics. You can reach her at

 Teacher Self-Reflection:

Carol Ann Tomlinson, author of The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners and more, recommends using rubrics with students where the student reflects on where they are, explains indicators that represent their current strengths and stretches to achieve the next level of competency. The self-reflection piece of the evaluation is based on this same principle.

The self-reflection portion of the evaluation consists of each element of the four Domains. For each element, you will reflect and determine your level of achievement (Not Demonstrating, Developing, Applying, or Innovating). You will then provide evidence for why you have scored yourself at that level and articulate what you need in order to move to the next level. It’s a good idea to use language from the rubric to help formulate your response, explaining where you have scored yourself and where you are moving. Here’s an example:

I am Applying because I have taught my students “Talk Moves” so they can interact with their peers in a significant way, and I use the Frayer model to increase my students’ understanding of academic vocabulary. I would like to work with students on their self-reflection of their learning and progress, to move to Innovating.

 From your Self-Reflection, identify one area you of focus to improve your teaching and students’ learning in your classroom. This will become the focus of your SMART Goal.

Ideas: Using Formative assessment to guide instruction, participating in and applying PD on a specific curriculum, increasing use of student collaboration, managing classroom procedures more efficiently, providing differentiated instruction, using higher level questions, implementing student self-assessments, etc.


How to write a SMART GOAL:

Using a template like the one above, outline the components of your SMART Goal. Be sure that this is something that you want to focus on for the school year, and that it is measurable (see examples at the end of this).


What is your data telling you needs to be improved? What made you decide to focus on this specific goal? Why is this the right goal for you and your students this year?

Possible data sources: Self-reflection, walkthrough data, BOY Formative assessments, past observations, past student data, 90-day plan goals, etc.


 Identify the action steps you will take to gain the requisite skill, knowledge or ability from your SMART goal. Make sure these steps are aligned with your goal. Think of what support you will need (resources, including professional development and people who will help you).

Think of how you will gather your data in a systematic way.

You will create a timeline with smaller steps to help you keep achievement of the professional growth goal manageable.

Think of this as backward planning with the end in mind.

Resources to help you complete your Self-Reflection and write your SMART Goal:

Example Data Sources:

For Self-Reflection: Examples of evidence for domains 2 and 3


-Greets students at door

-Utilizes students’ interests and strengths in lessons

-Positive feedback about learning and effort

-Models active listening

-Includes all students


– Variety of groupings

that supports student-student collaboration

-Uses visuals (anchor charts, graphics, technology)

-Is safe

-Accessibility for all students, including the posting of learning and language goals

-Effective use of physical resources, including computer technology, by both Teacher and Students

-Little or no loss of instructional time through smooth and efficient transitions

-Students know what to do, where/when to move, how to access materials

-Modify speech and use wait time


-Expresses high expectations for learning & participation, verbally & nonverbally

-Structured student dialogue


-Rules and consequences are clearly established, posted and referenced

-Acknowledges expected behavior as well as misbehaviors

-Prompts students of the expectations for each activity (proactively)


– Posts and refers to objectives

– Gives clear directions and procedures

– Differentiates content for students

– Connects to student culture and language background


– Explicitly connects lessons to prior learning

– Adapts lessons as needed

– Uses a variety of teaching methods and resources


– Gives descriptive feedback

– Provides clear performance criteria

– Monitors student learning

– Provides exemplars

– Students self-assess


– Modifies instruction according to IEPs

– Adjusts instruction in response to evidence of student understanding/lack

– Seizes teachable moments and makes lessons relevant to students

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