The purpose of the meeting was to identify students who need academic monitoring. It could have been a 'create a list' and downward spiral of 'symptoms' type of discussion, instead it was a positive, energetic and uplifting with ideas, possibilities and solutions for all our students. I am lucky to work with an inspiring team of teachers who hold students at the front of their thinking, we have moved from certain students to all students. I am excited!
We are looking at our student data to identify growth and development. What progress have they made from the data we collect? We know our students, we work with them all day every day, some have identified areas of concern but they all have educational needs. This is a start but we need and want more!
It is not ok to say 'Oh X is fine, or Y is doing well' we need to dig deeper. We don't want to catch ourselves saying 'Fine, OK, Doing Well, Good' we want to KNOW how they are progressing, really KNOW. What evidence do we have that shows they are really progressing at the rate we expect? What are we doing with the data we have? Do we have the right Data? How can we use data to build programs and learning opportunities that will support each student to make progress and continue to learn, regardless of their 'level'.
The evidence we need about our students is right in front of us, but the difficulty is often in slowing down and looking. I am not just talking about data being numbers from tests, far from it. What do we know about each student. What are their challenges? What worries them? What are they hoping will happen this year? What do they want to tell you?
We are all busy, no one has enough time, teachers all say they are time poor! We could stay on that merry-go-around as long as we liked and nothing would change. We have decided to 'dig deeper' look for ways to connect, take 2 minutes with an 'extra' student, ask questions, look for opportunities to document more and reflect on what we know so we can plan for ways to really support, inspire and encourage each of our students as if they were our only student!
It won't be easy, but that doesn't mean we won't try.