top of page
  • Teachers Collaborative @ TeachTasticIEP

Why you should never use your average internet IEP goal bank

Updated: Feb 13, 2022


As a special education teacher, you want to make sure that you are setting IEP goals that will help your students reach their fullest potential. However, it can be difficult to know which goals to choose and how to align them with standards.

The best way to ensure good alignment is to use our prewritten IEP goals. These goals are based on the standards that your state uses, so you can be confident that they will help your students achieve success.


What goals are important to the student

It is critical to know if the student you are writing for is college-bound, trade school bound, or has additional post-secondary education goals for academic IEP objectives. How do you know how to help a student reach their greatest potential if there isn't a clear end goal post?


To find out a student's academic goals, you must first assess where they are now and what is the shortest route to where they want to go. One of the most useful websites is Achieve the Core. The grade mappings outline perfect maps of standards that directly correlate to the standards and standards-aligned IEP goals that TeachTasic IEPs founded itself on. Armed with this new knowledge you will be able to then start looking at what skills will be the most important for IEP annual goals.


What skills are most important to meeting IEP goals

As a special education teacher, you know that writing a measurable standards-based IEP goal depends upon more than just knowing your student's skill gaps and present level of performance. As we stated above, it takes more thought than just browsing the Internet for an IEP goal bank and choosing something from a list.


Here are four things to keep in mind when choosing the right skills for an IEP goal:

  1. What skills are most important? A prerequisite? An absolute required fluency?

  2. What skills does your student already have? How well do they perform these skills? Are they at grade level or above?

  3. What is the purpose of the goal? Transitioning to adulthood? Independence in daily living activities? Increased academic progress?

  4. What are your student's strengths and weaknesses when it comes to these skills?

Let's look at each of these considerations in more detail. You'll start off with what you know about the skills most important for your student to have in order to be successful, then you will move on to determine whether they have these skills and how they perform them.


There are three steps to selecting IEP goals: 1) Determine what skills are most important for the student based on the big picture of life goals and standards progression, 2) Assess whether the student has these skills and how well they perform them, and 3) Choose a goal that will help the student reach their life goals and aspirations great than just getting to the next grade level. Using this process will help you choose goals that are aligned with standards and will help your students achieve success.


PDF IEP goal banks and so called goal experts

Every year, teachers spend hours and hours researching standards-aligned goals for their students with IEPs, only to find that the goals they select often don't align with state or district standards.


One of the drawbacks of using a PDF IEP goal bank document is that the data isn't always reliable, and it is frequently out of date.


There is one IEP goal bank pdf that's been floating around for more than a decade. I bet you know the one. It's a large PDF that has goals and objectives listed by category like a dinner menu. You pick an entree and then a few sides dished with little thought to the student or the requirements of the academic standards.