Saturday, January 2, 2010

goals... Or how special education is taking over my life

I suppose it's the nature of the season that we're suppose to be setting goals to meet over the next year. Thinking about what I want to accomplish in the next year makes me realize this is what I do for all the kids on my caseload- I decide what they'll accomplish in a year, make a contract with their parents, get lots of signatures, write lots of details about how they'll accomplish it, go through a lot of legal descriptions of 'free and appropriate education' and 'least restrictive environment' that make little sense in English unless you are a lawyer (and if you are a lawyer I am so nervous that I'll make a mistake and you'll sue me that I stumble over the explanation anyway and then it really doesn't make any sense at all...)

Regardless- Mr. Lipstick had a fabulous idea (I'm ashamed I didn't think of it myself since my job description is primarily writing goals- but I suppose I normally write goals for other people)
Instead of coming up with one large goal for the year and not accomplishing it we'll come up with our broad goals and then each month decide on our short term goals to accomplish that month so that we will be on track to accomplish the long term goal.
This is exactly what we do for our kids- come up with that big umbrella goal and then come up with the ways we'll meet that goal in short term objectives.
So, as my life continues to come closer and closer to mirroring living in a special education world- we've set the generic goals of being healthier and being more fiscally conservative. And now, while before we'd set those goals, feel good about ourselves and go off and have a nice greasy burger and fries from Five Guys, we've actually laid out the plan for January (only eat fries 5 times during the month, etc) and posted the requirements for all this on our fridge.
This way is decidedly less fun but perhaps more productive.

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