As teachers, we can sometimes get so caught up in the day-to-day tasks of our job that we forget to lift ourselves up from the weeds and look at our classroom from a distance. Of course, specific, measurable, and short-term goals are what amount to overall incredible results at the end of the year, but we can’t forget what our big goal is - our North Star.
If you find yourself going through the motions and asking yourself, “Why am I doing this again?”, it may be time to revisit your classroom vision (or create one if you don’t have one yet). I love writing my classroom vision and revisiting it in January to remind myself of the all the important goals I set out to accomplish during the school year.
Just today, I decided to revisit my vision before returning to school after winter break. It took me less than 30 minutes to complete (22:36 to be exact) and I feel so re-energized to tackle quarter three. Here is how I did it:
Data collection and analysis can be overwhelming for teachers, but it doesn't have to be. The first step in easing data anxiety for teachers can be as simple as changing the definition of what data is and how it can be collected. Data is not just the fancy graphs that are provided by the companies that administer benchmark tests. In fact, it can actually measure anything you want it to measure.
I have heard many teachers state that standards-mastery, of course, is important, but it shouldn't be the entire focus of teaching. They tell me that they also want to see their students grow on an interpersonal level, become better humans, treat their peers with respect, and become independent learners who know how to advocate for their needs. I agree!
Where teachers can sometimes struggle is knowing how to use data to show objective growth in those areas. Below are some tips for data collection in 3 areas that I have seen successful teachers use in order to measure what matters in their classrooms.
Carla Rivera-Cruz (CRC) is an educator and entrepreneur committed to helping like-minded educators reach their fullest potentials.