It is best if students start a personal development plan at the start of the school year. It inspires students to work on a goal. It clears up the purpose of their study.

When I was teaching, I introduced the personal development plan using a 4 x 6 Index Card. They write about their ambitions, desired grades, and three steps they’ll consistently make to make their goals happen.

Teaching them how to do a simple PDP was also my opportunity to challenge them to think bigger.

Schools must teach students to write a simple, easy-to-understand personal development plan. Consider personal development as a declaration of commitment to becoming a better person.

Importance of Personal Development for Students

Why do we have to talk about this? We need to discuss this because most personal development plans introduced to students are usually complicated. It is like attending school and doing all the assignments for eight subjects. Those assignments, those projects, those subjects are already given. 

These tasks keep you busy; even if you don’t like them, you must do them. 

On the other hand, a personal development plan is a strategy you can use to improve in one area of your life. 

I saw a worksheet on personal goal development. It’s a lovely worksheet to exercise your brain and discover what you want to improve. 

I saw there in that worksheet that you have to identify a goal. Then ask yourself, how can you 

  • stop doing something
  • Minimize doing something
  • Continue doing something
  • improve something 
  • Start doing something. 

They sound good. They are just extensions of Stop, Continue, and Start. 

Now, this may sound easy and good, but when you look at it, the verbs stop, minimize, continue, improve, and start do not tell you what you will do. 

What are you going to do to minimize things? What are you going to do to stop or to start something?

The worksheet needs to show you how to accomplish a goal. But, unfortunately, it does not tell you where you are now and where you want to be. 

That’s why worksheets like this are just academic work. The student will fill in the personal goal development worksheet, but the student will never do it. Why? Because it was just an exercise.

How Students Can Do The Plan

I will explain what students can do to improve their personal development. 

For example, say you want to increase your grades from 85 to 95 next quarter. You will have control over this. Increasing your grade is not the job of your teacher. It is your goal, and you can do it. 

You may choose to increase your grades in all subjects by five points. You can do that. That is most desirable.

You may also focus on one subject. 

You may say, I will increase my science grade by five, seven, or 10 points, but you have to be specific about the points you want to improve. 

Your goal is to increase your grades in science from 85 to 95. 

The assumption is you are satisfied with your grades in other subjects and only in this subject where you find it more satisfying to increase your grade. 

So let’s focus on this one goal for demonstration purposes. Increase my grade in science from 85 to 95. That’s a great goal. 

The next things to consider are the activities or actions you, the student, need to do to achieve your goal.

You will consider many things.

First, you will consider the reasons why you only have 85. Then, you may ask the following questions.

Is it because I have low grades on quizzes? Was my recitation low because I could not submit my teachers’ requirements? 

You will look into why you were not getting 95. 

It is best to ask your teacher about it because if your teacher can tell you which area to improve, it’ll be a big help. 

Another thing you can do is to consider what those who have 95 in their grades are doing. Yes, you can learn from other students too. Find out what they are doing that allows them to get a grade of 95. 

Most of us think that these people, these students who get higher grades, have them because they are intelligent students.

As a teacher, I know that to be not true. Some diligent students have higher grades than the so-called smart ones. Well, in school, smart ones usually mean those who can memorize information. 

That’s a good start. 

Again, number one, you must consider what your teachers thought to be the areas you can improve to move from 85 to 95. And number two, consider what your classmates or maybe other students are doing for them to get higher grades. 

They may be doing one, two, or three actions you are not doing. 

Assume that you found the answer to that question. For example, you saw that one problem you have is that you are always silent in Science class and that when it comes to the grading system, 20% goes to recitation.

You were not reciting in your class because, number one, you were afraid that you would say something wrong. Number two, because you didn’t know the answer.

That’s a great discovery. Now that we know the answer, all you have to do is recite more in class. 

You can say to yourself in every class:

“I will recite two or three times.”

Reciting twice or thrice will help you learn more because you will know what you know and don’t. It will make the teacher notice that you are participating in class. 

The other problem has to be solved. 

If you feel that you don’t have the confidence that you know the answer to the teacher’s questions, then we have to find a solution. The first solution we already have is to recite more in class.

We have to find another solution. 

You may read in advance. You study the chapter a week before the teacher discusses it. You will understand the topic by heart. In addition, you will look into other materials that will deepen your understanding. 

When the teacher starts discussing the subject, you already have in-depth and advanced knowledge. 

If you do this, you will be more confident to recite in your classes, and everyone will think you are a genius even if you are not. 

All right. 

Let’s sum up the two actions that help you increase your grade from 85 to 95 in your Science subject. First, you will recite two or three times in every class, and second, you will do advanced and in-depth reading to improve your confidence. 

Every time You recite in class, everyone will think that you are good, that you are a genius, simply because you are steps ahead of them. 

The teacher is always ahead of you, but compared to your classmates who don’t do advanced reading, you are light years away from them. 

This is one of the secrets of geniuses in the classroom.

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