Student Data Tells a Story

Data Tells a Story

Analyzing and interpreting student data is so important for teachers.

Data tells a story, and using student data to provide feedback for teachers as an instructional coach is invaluable. This is a great strategy to use when coaching teachers!

What to look for in this post:
  • Using student data to provide feedback to teachers
  • Discussing data with students
  • Using student data to motivate teachers

If you prefer to hear me talk through this, here are two videos featuring all of this content:

Using Student Data to Provide Feedback to Teachers

In my state, Tennessee, we have data available to us so we can track how students have done on testing over the years. When I am working with a teacher, we can look at students’ graphs for growth and progress. I work at the high school level, and often we will find that a student was going along well in their early elementary years. Sometimes there is a big drop, or a big spike along the way. Tracking student data over time allows us to find the story of their achievement.

Discussing Data with Students

When teachers notice changes in a student’s data, they can then have a conversation or a conference with that student. They can ask about a particular time when there was a big dip in their performance, and often they will find that the student went through a difficult time. Even more important than that information, however, is the opportunity data opens up for teachers to really invest in time talking to students. That is a big win because they are building relationships and getting buy-in from students.

Using Student Data to Motivate Teachers

When instructional coaches work with teachers, analyzing data can be a great motivator for change. Instead of telling a teacher that student engagement is low or that students are not answering questions, you can present them with data. For example, you can share that during your observation the teacher asked six questions and three students answered all of those questions. The takeaway, hopefully, would be that the teacher needs to do more to engage more students in answering questions.

DATA is our best motivator in coaching for change

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