For many teachers, school has started and you are staring down back to school night. Parent attendance may or may not be high at these events, but those who show up may wonder if there kid needs a tutor, what does their angel need to do to be successful, and what can they do to help their pride-&-joy succeed in your class.
It is possible that you have answers. Ones that you have had canned for years, but are they the right ones? With the amount of technology integration, you inevitably have data on your students. You know how they write, when they do their assignments, how they do on formative assessments, what are their strengths, and what are their weaknesses. Use the data to drive these discussions.
Not all data is quantitative. When I collected data and completed my dissertation, this was the hardest thing for me to understand. I had a bachelor's degree in chemistry, if it is not a number, then it didn't matter (not really). You have many different kinds of data about your students, use these data points. Inevitably, you have collected them while talking with your class. Does the student make eye contact? Does the student answer questions with the voice inflection of question? Sure you may have data on the scores on tests, quizzes, and exit tickets?
Data is not something to be feared. I love data because I have learned that I often get the following questions:
- Is what you are doing working?
- How do you know?