This is the second post in our Intentional Instruction series for administrators. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, click here.
Here at Teaching Strategies, we talk a great deal about helping children become successful at school and in life. Indeed, our 38 objectives for development and learning address the knowledge, skills, and abilities most highly correlated with predictors of that success.
Of course, we realize that success at school is a result of many factors. Think of it as a pie chart. If you were to make a pie chart of all the things that go into helping a child be successful at school, you would see that there are many pieces to that pie.
The frustrating thing for educators is that “what happens at school” is only one piece of that pie.
But instead of allowing that thought to frustrate us, how about we instead allow it to empower us?
Because even if “what happens at school” is only one piece of the pie of success, you do indeed have that piece. And it’s an incredibly important piece. So how can you make sure you make the most of it?
You do that by being intentional in the decisions you make and by helping teachers be intentional as well.
Taking control of your “piece” of the pie
As a school leader, you probably already think quite a bit about data-driven instruction. But, just as the pie of school success includes many pieces, so, too, should the data for data-driven instruction include many pieces, and certainly far more than just the scores we glean from standardized tests and one-shot screeners.
As a leader of your school, you are in the perfect position to help teachers see the bigger picture of data-driven, intentional instruction. Help them see that they have data regarding what works in their classrooms. They have data regarding individual children—their likes, their dislikes, their interests, their strengths, and their needs. They have data about families—who they are and ways that they can become meaningfully involved in “what happens at school.”
And because they have this data, this information, these facts, they can use that information to make instructional decisions with care, confidence, and intention.
Help teachers use that data—all of it, everything they know about children in general and about each individual child in particular—to make intentional decisions. By doing so, you empower those teachers to make “what happens at school” the right thing for children.