Have you ever heard of the book Jeremiah Learns to Read? This book is an excellent mentor text to use to teach students about setting goals. Here are the lessons I learned from Jeremiah.
Everybody has a skill.
Jeremiah has so many talents and skills. He can build structures, care for animals, grow crops, and make the best buttermilk pancakes. Each day, Jeremiah takes his skills and uses them to bless other people in his life. Just because Jeremiah is weak in the area of reading does not mean that he is not a talented individual. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses
Goals are meant to be shared.
In the story, Jeremiah realizes that he has a lot of skills, but he wants to learn how to read. After Jeremiah makes this goal for himself, he tells his wife, friend, and even his dog!
Do you have a goal? Share it with a friend or family member! When you share your goals, then people can gather around and support you as you work to reach your goal. And who knows? Maybe your journey towards your goal will inspire someone else to make a goal for themselves!
Make a plan to reach a goal.
Jeremiah wants to learn to read, but he knows that the adults around him wouldn’t be able to teach him. Where could he learn to read, then? School! Despite the fact that it could have been embarrassing to go to school with children and learning how to read from the students and teacher, Jeremiah attends anyways because its the only way to reach his goal. In the end, he stuck to his plan and it worked! He learned how to read.
Have you ever made a goal but didn’t make a plan on how to reach it? I know I have! Because I didn’t make a plan, I never met my goal. To successfully meet a goal, sit down and come up with the small steps that you need to take in order to reach your big goal. Then, focus on completing each step. Before you know it, your goal will be complete!
You’re never too old to make a goal.
When the story begins, Jeremiah is an old man. He already has children and grandchildren. He already has so many talents and skills, why couldn’t he just be happy with where he was in life? Because a person can never be too old to learn something new, grow in a weak area, or set a goal.
Where are you in life? Do you feel like you’ve learned everything you’re going to learn in your life time? In our story, Jeremiah had a growth mindset. He understood that he wasn’t to old to grow, and you aren’t either. Whether you are young or old, be looking for areas in your life that could use some growth and set a goal!
Goals can’t be met without hard work.
Jeremiah worked hard to learn how to read. He went to the school house each day. He allowed the children to teach him all that they knew about letters and sounds. He also practiced reading and writing every evening. Jeremiah worked hard to learn to read.
Setting a goal and sticking to a plan can be hard. It can be hard to be consistent. It can be hard to find the courage to go through with the plan. Each step towards the goal could be mentally or physically grueling. However, all goals are reached through hard work. Create a goal. Commit to the plan. And surround yourself with people who will support your in your endeavors.
Use your strengths to help other people reach their goals.
Throughout Jeremiah’s journey to literacy, he used his other skills to teach others such as whittling or making applesauce. He looked out for others who wanted to learn new skills and he used his knowledge to support others in their goal-reaching journey.
Remember that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. How can you use your strengths, knowledge, and skills to support others? As you pour yourself into others and their dreams, they will pour themselves into you.
Your goals can inspire others.
At the end of the story, Jeremiah is finally able to read to his wife just as she had asked from the beginning. His wife has been inspired by Jeremiah’s determination to learn something new, his hard work, and the end result. When Jeremiah finishes reading to her for the first time, she immediately decides that she wants to learn to read also.
As you work towards your goals, others are watching you. They are waiting to see if the goal was worth it, if it was attainable. When they see your success, many will be inspired to follow in your footprints. And as they strive to reach the same goal, you will be able to come along side and support them.
I love the book Jeremiah Learns to Read. I feel that there are so many life lessons related to setting goals that can be unpacked from this sweet book. As your students come back to school, take a moment to gather on the carpet and read about this man who had a goal to tackle and his determination to make it happen.
Then, walk your students through setting their own goals. Looking for a simple way to teach your students the goal-setting process? Check out My Goal-Setting Packet on the shop. When your students have made their goals, pick up a printable bulletin board that will allow them to display their goals for constant inspiration.
Happy New Year!