Monthly Mentor

Matthew Neylon (July)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Matthew is a graduate of the 2017 NAEA School for Art Leaders and cofounder of CONNECT, an organization that connects art teachers from independent schools around Atlanta with resources and relationships to excel and thrive. He has presented to hundreds of educators and artists annually, on various topics including wellness through the arts, trauma-informed arts education, storytelling, leadership, STEAM/art integration, and curriculum design. Click "GO" to read his full bio.



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January 03, 2020

Modeling Goal Setting and Perseverance

By Le Ann Hinkle

Happy New Year! Before the ball dropped and the fireworks were set-off, I am sure you started hearing about the ubiquitous “New Year’s Resolutions”.  I am not one for making (or keeping) a list of New Year’s resolutions.  However, I have come to realize that goal setting and perseverance is a very important part of my work with students.  As my district has moved to a “personalized learning model”, goal setting is at the forefront of teaching and learning.  

In developing strategies to embed goal-setting for my students, it has become clear that I need to model my personal goal-setting and how I work to achieve goals. Art teachers everywhere have heard the phrase, “You are the best artist.”  Emerging artists, especially early primary youngsters, have difficulty making the connection with “years of work” to the exemplar I have just created. As the art room has become a more personalized learning environment, working 1:1 and in small groups with students, those demonstrations and exemplars now have a different look based on media, subject and level of skill.  So, how can I share my personal goal-setting and perseverance in achieving my goals?  

Recently, I designed several lessons that were a little out of my comfort zone.  I also wanted to engage the students more in the lesson design process.  When my students began these lessons, I told them it was something new I was trying and needed their help. The early starters helped me clarify information and directions, or suggested resources that would be helpful.  I did more research, some rewriting, and created more visual resources for them to access independently. As students moved through the lessons they continued to provide feedback on areas where I needed to make changes. 

Through analysis and scaffolding of my goal-setting process, my students are more able to articulate their own goals.  By making my thinking visible, my students realize the reciprocal respect I have for them as co-learners. They are more trusting of me when it comes to asking for support when they are working to develop new skills outside their own comfort zone.  

How are you are modeling your personal goal-setting for students.  How can you make your thinking visible and engage students in your problem-solving process?  

Connect with me on Twitter @hinkleart or email-

Resources to consider: 

Angela Duckworth- Grit, the Power of Passion and Perseverance

Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick- Habits of Mind: Strategies for Disciplined Choice Making



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