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Go for Your Teaching Goals

by Professor Joe Martin

Here’s a question, “Do you know how advertisers get us to buy things?” Is it by creating a desire for it? Is it by creating fear of not having it? You’re right in both cases, but a more subtle way that seems to be more effective than both is by “overexposing” us to the message, constantly.

In advertising terms, they call this “impressions.” There is usually a direct correlation in the number of public impressions and the number of sales made. If you don’t believe me, just ask any advertising salesperson.




Given this fact, I want you to try something different that I believe will raise your motivation level and will have a huge impact on your attitude in the classroom. This month I want you to persuade yourself to buy what you’re selling (not the advertisers) – by overexposing yourself to your own commercial. And what are you trying to sell yourself? YOUR TEACHING GOALS!

Study after study validate that success and goal setting are intricately linked. Assuming you already have written goals (shame on you if you don’t), I want you to pick the most important one and write it on at least a dozen index cards. Be realistic (i.e., no make your principal disappear goals), be specific, and make it measurable.

Think in terms of outcomes you’d like to produce; connections you’d like to make with certain students or parents; projects you’d like to start or work on; or things you’d like to improve at your school.

Next, I want you to strategically place these index cards in places where you can easily see and read them (i.e., on the bathroom mirror, in your day planner, on your computer, on your car dashboard, on your laptop, on your desk, in a book you’re reading, on the television set, on the refrigerator, etc.).

The key here is to keep these “goal cards” on display for a full month. This kind of advertising would actually be a company’s dream and would literally cost thousands of dollars. But since you’re selling to yourself, this action will help you buy into YOUR OWN dream, instead of someone else’s, and it’s also free. So, on your mark, get set, go for your goals!


Joe Martin is an award-winning national speaker, author, professor, and educational consultant. His mission is to help students, teachers, and administrators learn, lead, and live with purpose and passion. To find out more visit his web site at


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