Paul Chan

As a new teacher, it will benefit you to set goals for your year in China. Why? In the blink of an eye, a year passes and you don't want to find yourself not sure of what you accomplished. Successfully setting goals will enable you to plan better and assess your progress. It's a cycle of success you're creating, for life. The success or challenge of accomplishing your goals will truly help you make your decisions going forward after your year is done (and thereafter). The "how" is the tough part, but perhaps these following insights will help.

Achieving more

You have to define what success means to you. In the case of being a new teacher, you may want to establish what level of competency you would like to achieve (e.g. be able to do 5 Open Lessons with high marks, have high attendance rates for classes, get a review higher than a 3, etc.). Luckily, your Director of Studies can help in these matters to help you develop your achievement plan. Hint: achievements can also be travel goals.

Having more

Material possessions! Why not? Be able to save X amount by year's end, be able to save enough to buy that trip you always wanted to take or be able to treat yourself to a spa day(s). However, this idea isn't limited to material possessions, but for many people, it could be building up their reputation - As Rowdy McLean stated so succinctly in his book "Play a Bigger Game", "What would you like to be remembered for?" The deeper insight required would be what will it take to mould your ideal reputation.

Being more

These goals entail the roles you find important to you and how you want to improve on them. Your core job, of course, is being the best teacher you can be - how would you define that for yourself? You could aim for being a better team player, but your works will measure the efficacy of this goal (e.g. be involved in 5 projects that benefit the school). On a personal level, we all have friends and family we could spend more quality time with. We all have co-workers we can develop better relationships with.


In summary, the basic idea is to make a plan for achieving more, having more, and being more in your important, momentous year. It's better to be conscientious in the process and not take this opportunity haphazardly. In order for these goals to take effect, you must take the time to brainstorm and write these goals down. Then give these ideas a breather (maybe a day) and then come back and work out specific details and a systematic way to accomplish these goals.

For example, you could resolve for "being a better son", but clearly we need more. More specific details could be calling your parents at least three times a week (set up an alarm for yourself as a reminder to ensure you do this), saving money to buy tickets for your parents to come visit you in China, planning a family trip together to an exotic location with them, etc.

Good luck, but I would bank your thoughtfulness and effort to have a great year!

Acknowledgement: "Play a Bigger Game" by Rowdy McLean

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