My Classroom's Needs
As a Reading Specialist in a charter high school in Brooklyn, NY, I don’t fit the traditional teacher mold. I don’t teach full classes of students; I work with students in small groups or individual sessions in an office tucked away on our mezzanine. I provide struggling readers with individualized interventions to help them make sense of the complex texts they are receiving in their core classes.
When I began, I realized it was difficult and time-consuming to track over 20 students on a completely individual basis and still be available for intervention sessions and content teacher support. After I compiled data from diagnostic assessments and created individual goals, I realized I didn’t have a solid way to track their progress. Due to my nontraditional role as an educator, I didn’t fit into the grading system that other teachers used. My administrators were looking for concrete data that I did not have.
Personally, I’m horrible with computers and technology. Never had a knack for it unless you count logging in to email and Googling what vegetables my dog is allowed to eat. Finding a digital way to track data was imperative since I couldn’t create my own system. Initially, I took two full days to set up a spreadsheet with rubrics and mastery levels I determined. That project was inefficient and unhelpful as it still required me to determine mastery levels and calculate student achievement individually. All teachers know there simply isn’t time for that. In attempting to compile data on my own without a grading system, I was losing time with students and my priorities shifted from Reading Specialist to Data Analyst....