I‘m not even sure that “monkeying” is a real word, but Seager calls me the department’s “data monkey” and I am sure most departments will have one … if you haven’t got one … you need too. In some schools the person that handles the data will be the Head of Department, but in ours its me … I love data, and I also like to make sure that all of us have the information we need to make the right decisions, whether that be in our day to day teaching roles or in meetings. In fact, I’d hate the idea of Seager (or any of us) going into a meeting and not having the information needed to hand. I also think that in terms of the bigger picture it makes sense for one person to crunch numbers for everyone rather than us all doing the same analysis but lots of times. Its about being efficient as a department … or maybe I’m just a control freak and just like to know what’s going on.
We’ve always had a pretty good handle on our “numbers” and have always looked at levels of progress in addition to the “C” grade, but this year I have put together for each teacher a matrix for each class (I usually do one for the cohort) that shows each teacher, their students – they can annotate the sheet or use the accompanying sheet which includes all the students data (as a list). The idea being that it will identify students that are not making the required progress and then suggest/implement any interventions. Its not meant as a tool to beat teachers with, which is what I know lots of data in use out there is used for … its a tool to make sure we are “doing right by our students”.
So that’s what I’ve been doing … I been data monkeying!!