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Something to be Said About Numbers

I have never been a data person.

I’ve always been ALL about the relationships. I’m a people person. I don’t typically care about percentages, ROI or standard deviation.

I think a good teacher typically knows when they’re reaching their students. A good teacher should just know whether their kids have developed mastery around a standard.

87But then, I started working at Rocketship.

Rocketship is all about the data.

In fact, we have DATA DAYS to collect the data, analyze the data and then use the data in meaningful ways to drive our instruction.

For a while, I wasn’t too sure about the need for so many numbers.

I didn’t understand why we were placing so much importance on assessments.

And, even still, I don’t always feel like every single assessment will give me valuable information about my students. I have, in the past, had meetings with parents to talk about opting their kids out of a test if it didn’t really prove to be beneficial.

But these past two weeks, our kids have been trekking away at the NWEA – an adaptive assessment that they take on the computer. All of our students take the NWEA. And, because it adapts to each student’s learning level, questions are accessible for everyone.

This is one assessment I feel accurately gauges my student’s growth. It measures growth of our kiddos over time – regardless of if they are above, on or below grade level.

carpetAnd, man, did our kids grow.

Grow isn’t the right verb.

Soar, maybe?

Anyway, moral of the story: there’s something to be said about numbers. 

Not only does the data inform our instructional practices, but it allows our families to see that our kids are actually growing. Soaring. Learning.

And, most importantly, I’ve seen how it motivates our kids when they see their progress over time. That investment is something that I can’t directly teach them. That investment in their learning is a result of seeing growth over time. When they see positive results, they’re naturally going to want to see more.

And they did.

They grew.

They soared.

So, naturally, they want to fly just a little higher.

Share how data has motivated you or your students ➟ @RocketshipEd

This piece originally appeared on Divya’s blog: Eat. Teach. Blog. 

Divya is an Integrated Special Education Specialist at Rocketship Brilliant Minds. Before joining the Rocketship team, she taught in Los Angeles and then Cupertino. When Divya isn’t hanging out with her students, she enjoys reading, running and cooking. On the weekends, you’ll find Divya working to accomplish her goal to hike everywhere possible in the Bay Area. 

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Published on February 2, 2015

Read more stories about: Teacher Experience.