If you haven't read this article, please do. Especially if you are a teacher.
I don't like to write too much about my school and classroom. It makes me feel like I am violating the privacy of my students. HOWEVER, I can't not share about this. I am going to be cryptic, but I will share what I can.
Yesterday I adapted a few things from the above article for my own classroom. I was able to get so much data about my classroom. And not the data we are all used to hearing about. While I agree that we need to have data to teach our kids well, often times we forget about relational data that is just as important.
Because of this small task...one that took me no more than three minutes to do with each class and about five minutes to read upon finishing... I was given worthwhile data. It wasn't data about who was mastering what concept or who wasn't passing a test. It was data on how my kiddos are relating and connecting with each other. Some data was positive, some was negative. Some data wasn't surprising. Some was.
While I did a variety of things with this information, it was some of the positive data that prompted me to contact two different sets of parents. Both contacted me back gushing with appreciation claiming I had NO IDEA how much my email (containing the above data) meant to them and would mean to their students. These emails had me in tears. Happy Tears.
As a teacher in today's society, it is easy to get caught up in the common core, the high-stakes testing, and the routines of learning content. I am just as guilty as the next person. However, we have to remember we are working with kiddos. We are shaping today's youth for the success of tomorrow. And that success isn't simply wrapped up in an MCA test score or a letter grade on a report card.