Fostering student motivation is a difficult but a necessary aspect of teaching that teachers must consider. Many may have led classes where students are engaged, motivated, and excited to learn, but have also led classes where students are distracted, disinterested, and reluctant to engage and, probably, have led classes that are a mix.
Most educators assume that graded assessments and marked assignments can motivate students enough towards making them more responsible and excited for their future.
Goal setting is an important life skill that is never too early to start developing. Learning to set goals teaches children to take responsibility for themselves. They learn that their actions determine whether they fail or succeed.
Goal setting also builds self-confidence. When children reach their goals, they learn to believe in their abilities and are more likely to set new goals for themselves in the future.
So, before we talk about the advantages of a vision board and how to make one and more, let’s find out what a vision board really is.
A vision board is a visualization tool that gets students thinking about what they want to accomplish either academically or personally. With a vision board, students create visual representations of goals through a collage of pictures and words.
The board serves as a daily reminder of what students want to achieve and helps motivate them to make their vision a reality.
As far as making a vision board is concerned, there are no set rules that you must follow, it is not a formal assignment nor does it have to be, a vision board can be as simple as a sticky note on a calendar or even a marked date with a written note on it, all It has to do is to remind you of a certain goal that you have set. It should be a call to action towards a goal that you have set, or it can be as creative as much as you prefer with a primary reason to remind you that you must achieve a certain goal.
Speaking of a goal, there are a few things to keep in mind while making a goal which can help you developing a better vision board.
Your goal should be realistic, concise, time bounded and achievable. What it means is that your goal needs to be something that can be achieved, it should be real, if you say I want to climb mount Everest, that is not goal that should be discouraged, however adding more steps to know how you will get there — it should tell at what age, month or year you want to go there, why is it important to you, and are you capable of climbing the most unforgiving incline on earth, and lastly it should have a cutoff time. A point where you must call it done or you can state a deadline in which you should be able to complete your goal. It helps with better planning and gives you a milestone to hit and devise your goal into bite size pieces that are easier to achieve by which each step takes you closer and closer to your final goal.
This does not have to be on your vision board per-say but it does help with achieving your goals easily.
Teaching your students how they can create a vision board for themselves. First, explain to your students the purpose of vision boards and explain what they are not. For example, if a student wants to become the president of the United States, simply pasting pictures of past presidents onto the board is not the answer. It needs to be a bit more involved. The student would have to include steps on their board of what previous presidents did to get there, campaigning, working hard, going to college, and being willing to socialize with thousands of people throughout their careers.
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, but vision boards for students need to be highly detailed, and those details need to have deep significance to the student who made the board.
Explain to your students that vision boards don’t work simply by being made. Once all the image searching, cutting, and pasting have been done, they’ll need to understand that vision boards are most effective when seen every day. Teach your students to have clear intentions for what they want to achieve, and explain that if specific goals change, they can always edit their boards to include new images and words or phrases to symbolize these new dreams.
Once your students have completed their vision boards, it’s important that they be placed where they can be visually accessed by your students every day, even multiple times a day. If you are in a traditional classroom, consider hanging their boards all around your classroom, and make them a regular part of your planning and teaching day. If you are in a virtual classroom, have your students hang their boards in their bedrooms, or even better, behind wherever they sit during class so everyone can see what their goals are every day during class.
Vision boards for students are a great way to introduce all kinds of new—or existing—material into classroom discussions about everything, from geography to history to science to language arts. That’s because each of your students will have different dreams and thoughts displayed on their boards, and these are sure to cover much ground in all these different areas.
For example, a student who wants to be a doctor might want to lead a classroom conversation about anatomy, or a student interested in becoming the mayor may want to help open a discussion about local history. Use these various interests to your advantage in creating classroom conversations, which will also make students feel more seen, understood, and special.
Vision boards for students are also a great way to encourage shorter-term goal setting for the semester or school year. If these are the kinds of vision boards, you’d like to see your kids make, have them think about where they would like to be in the next 12 months rather than where they’d like to see themselves as adults.
Have them include pictures and phrases for their boards that suggest success where they might be struggling in school or where they would like to see themselves do better academically. You can even encourage your shy students to become more outspoken by including pictures of their favorite singers, actors, and other outspoken figures.
The important thing is that you be there for your students as they work on their boards, encouraging them to research what they want to accomplish over a given period. This process will help you get to know your students, too, so creating vision boards at the beginning of the school year or semester is both fun and informative for you as an educator. Vision boards are also an excellent way for students to get to know each other, because it shows them who is interested in what, and what they might all have in common.
A vision board has several benefits, each incredibly important or valuable in their own way. A vision board creates an emotional connection that motivates you, this works especially well if you make your vision board more than just pictures. Make it also about the emotions connected with your vision and the sensory experience of it all. What sounds, smells, and sights are associated with a particular aspect of your vision? What emotions? Relief, wonder, or joy?
A vision board is only as beneficial as the work you’re willing to put into it, so dig in and make it as thorough, exciting, and detailed as possible. A vision board makes real the dream in your mind, so you begin to believe it’s possible.
When you make something clearer and concrete in your mind, it feels more real and attainable. You start to believe that, hey, I just might be able to make this happen.
That’s one of the most powerful benefits of a vision board. No matter what you believe about yourself, no matter how much self-doubt you have, a vision board done right will slowly begin to transform your inner belief system into one which is more confident, certain, and self-motivated.
A vision board helps you clarify what you want out of your life because it forces you to put something down as you reflect on your vision board each day, certain things pull on you and others become increasingly tiresome.
Go in the direction of those things that pull you and don’t be afraid of modifying your vision over time. One of the most important benefits one can get from their vision boards is that there are no limits. You can be, do and have anything you want. You can live in a big castle by the cliff or drive a Lamborghini, you can visit the most exotic places on earth and travel first class. In other words, my friend, you are not bound by the restrictions of your physical world, instead, you can freely think whatever possibility you want.
This limitless thinking will make you unleash your inner greatness to achieve something that you truly want deep within you. The Wright brothers invented the airplane many years ago because they visualized and imagined that humans can fly in their head before they made it real.