I entered the teaching profession hungry to learn how to be a great educator and ready to become the next National Teacher of the Year! I watched Stand and Deliver, Freedom Writers, Dangerous Minds, Lean on Me, and Dead Poets Society, just to name a few. I was ready!
As LeBron James says, “Nothing is Given. Everything is Earned.” Regardless of your feelings on LeBron, it is important for our young people (well, all people) to internalize this life lesson.
Most kids spend at least 13 years in a K-12 school setting. Be it public, private, or charter—13 years of a similar setting can get a bit redundant. 13 years of at least 7 hours a day is also a significant amount of time. Many kids spend just as much time with their peers and teachers as they do with their families at home. As such, it is critical that we intentionally plan for scaffolded privileges and freedom throughout their school “careers.”
As the polar vortex is creating record lows and cities are experiencing the harshest cold in years, be certain your classroom climate doesn’t mirror this event. Instead, create or infuse a climate of JOY in your classroom as we head into the spring. Think back to a lesson you were taught in school that you still remember. What did the teacher do to make it stick?
We began the “Data Series” blog posts emphasizing the importance of daily independent practice, then explored 5 concrete steps to ensure your lessons are aligned to state standards, and most recently the 3 types of meaningful data that will help increase results in your classroom. In the latest post, the second type of data discussed was daily classroom data: data that a teacher collects during the lesson in one class period. This type often helps determine who is on track for mastering the daily objective and who needs immediate remediation. The game-changing strategy used to collect data daily is where we will end our “Data Series” posts. Educators, allow me to introduce you to Aggressive Monitoring.
“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” ~Carly Fiorina, former executive, president, and chair of Hewlett-Packard Co.
Raise your hand if you use intuition and a gut feeling more often than concrete data to make decisions.
If you didn’t raise your hand and you use data to make all of your decisions, then skim the rest of this post and leave a reply at the bottom with a how-to guide so that we can all become more data-driven humans.
In Monday’s post, I stated the need for educators to engage regularly in meaningful data collection. Two beliefs and practices must be true before we dive into data: 1) Students MUST independently practice the content. 2) The daily content MUST be aligned to grade-level standards and rigor (today’s post!)